OSI Group: Neighborhood Butcher Rides Whirlwind to International Stature

OSI Group: Neighborhood Butcher Rides Whirlwind to International Stature

Today OSI Group is an international food-supply conglomerate. It is the 58th largest US Company, supplying food to the US, Europe, South America, and Asian nations in the Pacific Rim, including wholly-owned-foreign-enterprises (WFOE’s) in China. OSI Group has a substantial presence in Taiwan and the Philipines as well.

In addition to McDonald’s, they serve a variety of well-known names in food service, among them: Yum, Burger King, Papa John’s, and Subway. OSI’s origin story is fascinating. A Century of Innovation at OSI Group.

In 1909, Chicago had long had a thriving community of German immigrants. Among them was an enterprising small-time butcher-shop proprietor by the name of Otto Kolschowsky.

Whatever it is that allows some men to thrive at commerce while others flounder, the future founder of OSI had it. Within a decade his retail business had prospered enough that he switched to the wholesale trade.

And for some decades thereafter, Otto and Sons, the ‘O’ and ‘S’ in OSI, prospered at their well-managed, but strictly local, wholesale business. But the founder of what was to become the OSI Group was about to be swept up in a whirlwind of growth.

In 1955, Ray Kroc of McDonald’s fame was keen on the relatively new idea of selling franchises. Ray decided to open the first McDonald’s franchise in Des Plaines, Il.

Before opening that first franchise store, Ray displaying the foresight common to successful businessmen, realized he needed a steady and reliable source of meat. It was then that Otto’s reputation for reliability caught Ray Kroc’s eye. Otto and Son’s became Ray’s wholesale meat supplier. Otto and Sons grew in lockstep with McDonald’s at a breakneck pace.

In the sixties, cryogenic processing of hamburger patties, also known as flash freezing, was a new technology Otto and Sons quickly adopted to satisfy Ray Kroc’s insistence on a consistent taste and texture in his burgers, no matter if the customer bought that burger in California or Chicago.

In 1973, Otto and Sons built the first plant whose products were exclusively produced for McDonald’s. In 1975, Otto and Sons became the OSI Group, and they folded all non-McDonald’s operations into a subsidiary they named Glenmark. It was about this time that investment consultant Sheldon Lavin joined OSI.

To know more visit @:www.creativefoodseurope.eu/osi-group