Crosses For Losses

History of OSI Group and the acquisition of Baho Food

OSI Group was started in 1909 as a family business owned by Otto Kolschowsky ( a German immigrant to Illinois in 1907). Otto had to move to Maywood to turn the small meat market into an extensive meat business. The development took eight years. For decades, the new Otto & Sons became a very popular meat supplier for the locals. However, their biggest breakthrough was when the then- startup McDonald’s struck a deal with Otto & Sons as the main provider of quality ground beef patties for its primary restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Still maintaining their position of being one of McDonald’s major suppliers, Otto & Sons constructed their first meat processing plant that was based in West Chicago. The plant housed machinery which could shape patties perfectly and freeze food using liquid nitrogen. In 1975, Otto Kolschowsky’s descendants decided to formally change the name of the company to OSI group.

The OSI Group not only produces food products, but has also acquired various manufacturing companies in the food industry. Their recent innovation was the acquisition of Baho Food. This was announced on the 8th of August 2016. Baho Food is a Dutch manufacturer of deli meats, snacks and convenience foods serving the retail segments and food service, for an amount that is undisclosed.

The president and Chief Operating Officer of the OSI Group, David McDonald, said the deal, subject to the approval of the government, will allow the OSI Group to grow its business in the European market. In addition, he also stated that the portfolio of brands and products of the company complements the OSI Group’s processing strengths, and at the same time broaden their capabilities to serve the needs of their clients to satisfaction.

For almost 60 years, the Baho Food has been able to develop five branches with processing plants in Netherlands and Germany. The five companies include Henri van de Bilt, Gelderland Frischwaren, Q Smart Life, Bakx Foods and Vital Convenience- serve various customers in 18 different European countries.

According to the OSI, John Balvers, the managing director and his team at Baho Food would remain as part and parcel of the business. They would also work together with the OSI officials towards developing a growth strategy for the combined companies. According to him, the acquisition will play a major role in offering clients a wide range of products and services.

Balvers also states that the combined strengths will make them better and be in a position to support their clientele in realizing their strategies and offering them a wider product portfolio.

Connect with OSI Group on LinkedIn for more information.


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