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OSI Industries – A Local Shop Becomes Global June 7, 2018

The OSI Group is now one of the largest food providers in the entire world, most of their growth being attributed to and associated with Ray Kroc and McDonald’s. Being one of the largest private companies in the world as well as one of the wealthiest, ranking 58th on the Forbes list at $6.1 billion valuation ; the ever-growing company of 20,000 employees still continues to grow at a phenomenal pace.

The Origins

The company originally started as a mere concept in the west side of Chicago in Oakpark. Otto Kolschowsky founded a local butcher shop meant to serve the community. After just under 10 years of excellent service, Mr. Otto Kolschowsky found himself dealing with the wholesale side of things and moving to Maywood suburbs in Chicago. After years of doing business, the sons of Otto Kolschowsky – Arthur and Harry, came to an agreement with Ray Kroc to be the original suppliers of fresh ground beef with McDonald’s. As one can predict, this became one of the most influential business agreements in United States history. This agreement caught steam as Kroc bought out the McDonald’s and became the Chief Executive Officer of the McDonald’s corporation. The primary task of Otto & Sons? To meet and at times exceed the supply the demand of McDonald’s customers. This proved to be as challenging as it was profitable, however, Otto & Sons were able to meet expectations and more

Building and Expansion

In 1974, the Otto & Sons company decided to build a dedicated plant to supply the McDonald’s restaurant and product line. This was located in the suburbs of West Chicago and was heralded for its state of the art nitrogen based flash freezing of hamburger patties. This helped Otto and Sons to be both a cornerstone in the supply chain of the McDonald’s corporation as well as a catalyst to the rapid growth of McDonald’s.

After a certain period of time, Otto & Sons became OSI Industries 2 years after building this facility. This name marked the monumental shift from being a reputable local shop to becoming a global force in the food industry. Following McDonald’s strides into the international frontier, OSI Industries was able to negotiate partnerships in Germany and Spain with McDonald’s as to become a multinational corporation.

The Expansion Overseas

OSI Industries became one of the most important food providers in the world – a reputation still well intact today. Expanding into countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Poland, and Hungary – this growth persisted beyond the late 1980’s. This time period also included a joint venture with K&K foods which broke ground for OSI’s Asia-Pacific initiative along with partnerships being formed in the Phillipines and China shortly thereafter.

Today, OSI Industries has now taken on multiple major clients such as Starbucks, Papa John’s, Burger King, Subway, Saizeriya, and Yum. Its growth continues to serve an increasing amount of industries, most notably with the acquisition of Amick Farms – an already vertically integrated poultry company. With these moves, dating back to over a century, the small German butcher shop continues to further entrench itself as one of the globe’s most powerful food authorities.

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