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The rise of America’s food giant, OSI Industries, from Chicago meat supplier to international food provider.

In the American economic history, one company in the name of OSI industries will always be remembered for living the American Dream. OSI started at the dawn of the 20th century as a local butchery and meat supplier. Today the company is among the biggest food providers in the globe, with a presence in more than seventeen countries and a human resource capacity of about twenty thousand employees. OSI has continued to expand and has grown to be among the top 100 private corporations in the US with Forbes ranking the company at #58 in 2016 with sales to the tune of $6.1 billion.

Genesis of OSI

In the early 1900s, a German immigrant called Otto Kolschowsky arrived in the US and settled at Chicago, Illinois, a city which was a popular destination for the German Immigrants. Two years later, Kolschowsky would open butchery and also worked as a small meat vendor in the community. Otto was a good businessman and by the time the Second World War was ending, he had expanded his small retail meat business to a wholesale vendor. Consequently, he moved his business to the more expansive Maywood, which is a Chicago suburb. After a decade Otto sons would take over the family business and rebrand it to Otto & Sons in the year 1928. The two sons of Otto would manage the business for the next decades forming a formidable partnership with Ray Kroc of the McDonald’s restaurants.

Rebranding

Arthur and Harry, the sons of Otto, were in good books with Ray Kroc and they would be awarded the tender to supply beef to the restaurants for their signature, McDonald’s burger. Years later, Ray Kroc would acquire full ownership of the McDonald’s franchise and Otto & Sons would continue to be the biggest beneficiaries as Ray Kroc expanded his franchise to virtually all states of America. The success of McDonald’s fueled their expansion of Otto & Sons, and in 1975, Harry and Arthur saw it necessary to rebrand to OSI Industries. This was prompted by the fact that their business had grown so rapidly that it was necessary to become a two- truck company. One sector of their company was dedicated to supplying the McDonalds while the other would continue to serve the local market.

More about OSI industries

Today the company has grown to be the leading international food provider with a number of mergers and acquisitions all over the world including, Hungary, Brazil, Mexico, and Austria. Among the high profile purchases that OSI has made, including the acquisition of UK based Flagship Europe in 2017. The company is now called Creative Foods Europe. The company also acquired a controlling stake in Baho Food, a Dutch meat manufacturer in 2016 and also entered in a joint venture with Select Ready Foods of Edmonton, Alberta of Canada in the year 2014. Today David McDonald is the President of OSI industries while Sheldon Lavin serves as the chairman and CEO.

Learn More: www.kununu.com/us/osi-industries