Starting as a small meat market and butcher shop in Chicago in 1909, OSI Group is in 2018 one of the largest food providers in the world, estimated to have a net worth of $6.1 billion. With over 20,000 employees at 65 facilities in 17 countries, OSI Group was ranked at number 58 by Forbes in 2016 in the list of largest private U.S. companies.
The small butcher shop that turned into an empire was first opened by Otto Kolschowsky, a member of the German immigrant community in Chicago, Illinois. Opening it only 2 years after arriving in the United States, he managed to do good business and by the end of the First World War, he had expanded into the wholesale side of the business. In the aftermath of the Second World War a business alliance with the McDonald’s restaurants proved fruitful and helped the company expand.
The adaptation of the cryogenic food processing technology in the 1970s was cutting-edge and helped with the company’s intense growth. OSI Group never stopped integrating the latest technologies in food safety and quality, their efforts also being focused on the way modern food production impacts the environment. As a result of their exemplary management of environmental risks, OSI Group won the 2016 Globe of Honour from the British Safety Council.
While McDonald’s continued to be a major customer and proved to be of great importance in the company’s history, OSI Industries also ventured into other sectors of the food industry. The broadening of the products they offer turned out to be a success. As a result, alongside the meat-based products they provide, they also produce salsa, beans and tofu products. They became one of the most vital food providers in the world as a result of a series of strategic expansions and joint ventures in the 1980s and 1990s in countries like Brazil, Poland, Hungry and Austria.
The transition from a small regional supplier to a global corporation that transpired made OSI Industries transform the food processing industry as they produced an affordable and consistent product. The transition led to substantial growth that continues to this day, OSI Industries continuing to expand.