When most people go to the supermarket, they do not think twice about where the food originates. Accordingly, when dining at a restaurant, it is not typical to question how the ingredients were purchased. This type of food production is an incredibly important business, however, so it is worthwhile to know about the companies providing such a service. While there are numerous food production companies, one of the most established options is the OSI Group.
Most people probably do not realize that they have enjoyed products from the OSI Group for decades. The company’s headquarters is located in Aurora, Illinois, but that is not where its impact ends. To the contrary, the OSI Group has a global reach that provides food and jobs to countries all over the world. Among its food items, OSI focuses its production on protein items, some of which are packaged and sold for value at supermarkets around the world. Many other items are served at leading chain restaurants worldwide. As a privately held corporation under the direction of CEO Sheldon Lavin and President David McDonald, OSI currently operates in 17 countries and is always looking to expand its reach.
OSI has made its most recent acquisitions in Europe. For example, under the direction of President David McDonald and CEO Sheldon Lavin, OSI purchased a controlling stake Baho Food in August 2016. Baho Food is a Dutch company with subsidiaries throughout Germany and the Netherlands. At the time of acquisition, Baho Food provided food to 18 countries in Europe. Under the leadership of OSI, there are plans to ramp up production and increase sales.
The European expansion has not stopped there. OSI also purchased Flagship Europe in 2016, taking over the company’s production of frozen poultry, pies and condiments. With support from OSI leadership, Flagship Europe will be able to engage in new opportunities on the European continent, leveraging the same tactics that have already given OSI success in the United States and Asia. Other recent activity includes expansion in Spain and Germany.
This international expansion is impressive, but it is not the sole focus of OSI Group. Instead, OSI maintains a diverse range of services and seeks to enhance its presence domestically as well. In fact, another recent acquisition has hit very close to home for the Illinois company. In June 2016, OSI purchased a food plant in Chicago which was close to being shut down. The plant is located on Chicago’s tumultuous South Side, and it had been operated by Tyson Foods. Originally, Tyson Foods had planned to close the plant due to costs, a move that would have cost the local community nearly 500 jobs. However, OSI seized the opportunity and made Tyson Foods an offer for $7.4 million. The purchase gave more production options to OSI, and it also allowed many of the employees at the plant to retain their positions if they desired.
The rate of this growth is as impressive as its longevity. Few companies can manage to stay on top of the market for so many years, and this is especially impressive given the economic turmoil of the previous decade. OSI Group has managed to do this with careful product development and precise marketing. According to David McDonald, the key is to engage the local consumer base. This is especially important for a food company with connections around the world. Tastes are culturally dependent, which means that manufacturing must be responsive to those specific tastes. With every new market, OSI invests heavily into learning about the needs and wants of the local market in order to sufficiently meet those requirements.
Some of the considerations for local food production include how the ingredients are sourced and the price point. Some markets, for example, may value natural or organic foods. Others, by contrast, value a more affordable price. The key is to balance those needs to make the right food for the right market.
Worldwide expansion has also been possible because OSI has standardized its production to ensure the safety and quality of the food. Manufacturing facilities for OSI regularly employ the latest technologies. For example, OSI utilizes both metal detectors and X-ray equipment to allows any foreign objects to be seen and eliminated during the production process. This commitment to quality has allowed OSI Industries to maintain its position within the international market, conforming to specific regulations at each of its manufacturing plants from Illinois to India and beyond.
Although a company of this size can seem somewhat impersonal, OSI Group continues to make personal connections in the communities where it operates. In Illinois, OSI maintains a productive relationship with the Ronald McDonald House and other important charities, such as Feeding America. This means that the company’s growth is tied to other positive growth factors within the community, creating a mutually beneficial relationship between the company and its customers. Needless to say, the future looks bright for OSI Group, and its customers and employees around the world.