OSI Group opened its doors in the state of Illinois in the early nineteen-hundreds. The company began as a small meat market and quickly developed into a producer of quality products for businesses in the local area. Otto Kolschowsky was the visionary behind a concept that would become an international enterprise. He was a German immigrant who had big ideas. His small-market soon developed into a meat distribution network. At this time OSI Group was known as Otto and Sons. Otto and Sons grew rapidly over the years and soon became a trusted vendor for restaurants, grocery stores and other small food markets in the area of Chicago.
Otto and Sons remained at the cutting edge of the meat distribution industry. Their success eventually lead to an encounter with Ray Kroc. Ray Kroc was the CEO and genius behind the McDonald’s franchise. McDonald’s was growing rapidly at the time. Ray Kroc was opening restaurants in the Illinois area and needed a reliable supplier of meat products. Otto and Sons secured the contract. The relationship between McDonald’s and Otto and Sons would develop in a positive direction over the years.
Otto and Sons brought many innovations into the meat distribution industry. The company embraced cryogenics. This was a form of preserving meat products in a way that maintained its freshness in an efficient manner. McDonald’s became heavily reliant on OSI’s ability to provide large amounts of fresh beef. Otto and Sons also produced the patty cutting machine. The machine allowed the meat manufacturer to produce the product in a ready-made form to its primary clients. This sort of progressive thinking endeared Otto and Sons to Ray Kroc. It soon became the primary supplier of beef to the McDonald’s franchise.
Otto and Sons eventually became known as OSI Group. OSI was able to maintain its exclusive relationship with McDonald’s and expand into other markets. The company became the meat supplier to large grocery store chains as well as other fast food restaurant organizations.
OSI has operational plants throughout the United States. Active areas include West Chicago, Oakland, Iowa, Utah, Wisconsin and Riverside California. There are also facilities operating in Europe and Asia.
Forbes listed OSI as the 136th largest private company. The number is based on an annual sales report of 3 billion dollars. In 2016 the company was listed by Forbes as number 58 on the list of the largest private companies. Sales leading to this report are over six billion dollars.
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