OSI Industries: The Story of One of America’s Biggest Food Producing Entities

How does an entity start off as a small local butcher shop in Chicago and become a $6.1 billion food producing superstar? Well, let’s take a look at the fantastical story of OSI Industries. It was 1909 when Otto Kolschowsky immigrated to the United States. A German immigrant, Otto had ambitions of being a business owner in this new country that had an emphasis on capitalism. Otto started a small butcher shop outside of Oak Park in West Chicago. His business took off. His quality, speed, and service standards allowed the small show —now called Otto & Sons — to enter the wholesale food market.

Otto & Sons was a stable family business. For years, the company continued to service Chicago and it was becoming a household name in the neighborhoods of West Chicago. Then, everything changed for Otto & Sons because of one simple handshake made between Ray Krok and Henry and Arthur Kolschowsky. When Ray Krok opened his first McDonalds location in 1955, Otto & Sons were to be the sole suppliers of beef products to the establishment.

This one handshake changed Otto & Sons forever. The company quickly rebranded. The new OSI Industries was ready to take on anything that came their way. As McDonald’s exploded in popularity, so did OSI. OSI Industries are masters at leveraging opportunity for the purposes of expansion. Riding on the coattails of the McDonalds expansion, OSI Industries proceeded to expand across the United States. OSI then used their business savvy and ability to make key acquisitions to start on their path of global domination of the food production industry.

OSI quickly made partnerships with the likes of K&K and JC Comsa. They used these new partnerships to gain influence in China and Taiwan. To reach other areas of the world, OSI used persistent production techniques and acquisitions of companies offering a broad range of products.

Acquisitions like that of Hynek showed that OSI Industries placed importance on local communication and loyalty, while the acquisition of Baho showed that OSI wanted a broad range of competitive products and access to more constricted markets like the Netherlands. OSI may have leveraged McDonald’s success at the beginning of their rapid expansions, but today, the company supplies most of the major foodservice businesses in the world. OSI is continuing to see growth and using that growth to acquire products, business, and customer loyalty.

About OSI Industries: www.linkedin.com/company/osi-industries

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