OSI Industries: The rise to the top of the meat processing market

From humble beginnings in the year 1909, an immigrant of German origin, Otto Kolschowski opened the doors to his small meat selling outlet in Oak Park, Illinois. Over the years, Otto grew his butchery into a wholesale meat supplier that is gradually evolving into the large company it is today. With 65 outlets spread across seventeen nations of the world, OSI industries employ over 20000 people.

OSI Background Information

OSI Group acquires Baho Food. Kolschowski immigrated to Chicago in the early 1900’s, at a time when German immigrants comprised approximately a quarter of the population in Chicago. He settled for a small family meat market in a little room to supply meat to his neighborhood, two years after his arrival.

Kolschowski would later on at the end of the First World War grow his business from retail to wholesale. Consequently, he moved on to bigger premises in another suburb of Chicago, Maywood. The company rebranded to Otto & sons in 1928, when Kolschowski involved his sons in the running and management of the company.

The big break

In the year 1955, Ray Kroc opened the first Mcdonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. In what would prove to be a defining moment for Otto & sons meat processing venture, they signed on as the supplier of fresh ground beef patties. Otto & sons accepted Ray’s offer to be among the four meat suppliers for Mcdonalds.

Exponential Growth

The growth of the Mcdonalds chain of restaurants to global heights would propel Otto & sons to the next level. Demand for hamburgers and other meat products was on the rise, prompting the Company to acquire a new plant in West Chicago. It was fitted with cutting-edge technology and specially developed machines for meat preservation and packaging. Inspired by the rapid expansion of the company, Otto & sons changed the name to OSI industries in 1975.

Under sound management and increase in profits, OSI industries later moved on to acquire more meat processing plants in the United States. It was only a matter of time until they expanded into Eastern and Western Europe, Asia-pacific region and South America.

OSI’s products include Bacon, fish, pork, meat patties, pizza, vegetable, and dough products. Today, there are approximately 11 meat plants in the USA alone.

Awards and recognition

The British safety council awarded OSI industries the Globe of Honor award in 2016. The BSC also recognized OSI in 2018 with an Award of Merit at the International Safety Awards.