The OSI Group is an American company that’s among the world leaders when it comes to providing the food industry with custom solutions and quality products. The company was founded in the Chicago area in 1909 by Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant.
Initially it was as a community meat market, but it expanded in 1917 to become involved in the wholesale meat industry. The company’s name became Otto & Sons in 1928 and then OSI Industries in 1975. Since that time OSI Group has grown to become one of the top 100 food companies in the United States. Forbes lists it as the #58 on its ranking of the largest American private companies in 2016 with annual revenue of $6.1 billion.
The company’s transformation from neighborhood meat market with a reputation for providing quality meats to one of America’s largest providers of high quality meat, vegetable and dough products began when the then Otto & Sons made a handshake agreement with McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc in 1955. The deal called for Otto & Sons to supply fresh ground beef for all McDonald’s restaurants. As McDonald’s began to grow nationally, Otto & Sons grew with them and supplying McDonald’s became its primary income stream.
In 1973 Otto & Sons built a high-volume meat plant featuring liquid nitrogen freezing tunnels and specially designed patty-forming machines in West Chicago. The company also created a subsidiary called Glenmark that handled specialty meats and processed meats for Chicago area restaurants and supermarkets. Today the OSI Group has its international headquarters in Aurora, Illinois and provides processed meats to clients all across the United States and American fast-food brands doing business in China including Papa John’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Subway.
The OSI Group has over 65 facilities located in 17 countries in America, the Asia-Pacific region, Western and Eastern Europe. The company’s products now include dough and vegetable products along with bacon, fish, hot dogs, meat patties, pizza, pork and poultry. It co-packs items for major brand name companies and produces private label brands for a wide range of retail and food service customers. Its U.S. processing plants are located in Chicago, West Chicago and Geneva, Illinois, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, Oakland, Iowa, Riverside, California and West Jordan, Utah.
The company’s reputation for providing quality meats endures to today. The OSI Group has received numerous awards for health and safety risk management and environmental management.