OSI Industries Long History

OSI Industries has been a staple of innovation in the food processing industry for decades. It recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary since being founded. It can be hard to believe that this global corporation was once a local butcher shop in Chicago, Illinois. It has vastly evolved to become one of the leading food providers on the planet. It has expanded into 17 countries and has dozens of operational facilities. The food industry’s story cannot be told with mentioning OSI.

OSI Industries was founded in 1909 by German immigrant Otto Kolschowsky. At the time Chicago was a hub for industry. For decades the company functioned as a thriving local business until a chance meeting occurred. In 1955 the first McDonald’s was established, but before it opened Ray Kroc, owner of the fast food chain, entered an agreement with Otto Kolschowsky’s sons. The deal stipulated that OSI would be the franchise’s first supplier of fresh ground beef.

As McDonald’s continued to grow in popularity and influence so did OSI Industries. With the rapid growth of the fast food chain OSI went from local food provider to global corporation. It soon became tough for OSI to keep up with the demands of McDonald’s. Luckily, flash freezing was invented just as OSI began to feel overwhelmed.

In the early 1970’s it constructed a facility dedicated solely to the McDonald’s product line. When the McDonald’s consolidated its supply chain OSI remained as one of its four primary providers. To keep up with the growth of McDonald’s OSI began to expand out of Chicago. BY 1980 it had built multiple facilities outside of North America. It became a multinational corporation. Today OSI Industries is one of the largest companies in the U.S., landing on Forbes’ list of largest private companies in 2016.


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