OSI Group, one of the world’s leading food providers, started as a small, family-run butcher shop on the west side of Chicago. Founder Otto Kolschowsky opened the shop in 1909, just two years after immigrating to the United States from Germany. The business was successful and within a decade expanded into wholesale. In 1928, Kolschowsky’s business was rebranded as Otto & Sons. Business remained stable and successful for many years to follow.
Following World War II, the American economy began to grow. During this time, Otto & Sons formed a business deal that may very well be a key factor in the success of OSI Group to this day. Otto & Sons made an agreement with Ray Kroc, owner of the first McDonald’s, to supply ground beef to the restaurant.
With the rapid expansion of the McDonald’s franchise, Otto & Sons began focusing mainly on supplying beef to these restaurants. A major part of the responsibility of Otto & Sons was to be able to provide each McDonald’s restaurant with a consistent and affordable product. The invention of the flash freezing process allowed Otto & Sons to do this, leading to them becoming one of only four core suppliers in the McDonald’s supply chain.
Because Otto & Sons was a supplier for small restaurants as well as the McDonald’s franchise, the company eventually split production and built a plant dedicated to production for McDonald’s alone.
Otto & Sons changed its name to OSI Industries in 1975. The company began expanding outside of the Chicago area, opening facilities across North American throughout the 1970s and 1980s. OSI followed McDonald’s into the international market, forming joint ventures with companies in Germany and Spain. OSI Group continued to expand internationally, forming joint ventures in a variety of countries in Europe, South America and Asia.
Today, OSI Group operates a global chain of processing plants for more than just meat. OSI also has acquisitions and joint ventures with manufacturers of processed meat, fresh produce, frozen foods, pizza and more.
As they did from the beginning, OSI Group still remains focused on innovation and technology. As consumers grow more conscious of what they’re eating, OSI focuses on creating the best products by using the most up-to-date technology in food safety and quality.
OSI has also won a number of awards for their focus on sustainability and the impact of food production on the environment.
For details: www.osieurope.com/en.html