OSI Industries Grows Alongside McDonald’s

OSI Industries is a top supplier of beef, pork, and chicken. They recently upped chicken production at their Toledo, Spain factory, increasing their yearly production from 12,000 tons to 24,000 tons. But they haven’t always been a juggernaut in the food industry.

Beginning in 1909, OSI Industries was created by Otto Kolschowsky. As a German immigrant in Chicago – a city with a huge German population – Otto knew that by opening a genuine German butchery he would see great success.

Otto was able to grow the business from a local butcher’s shop to a wholesaler before passing the business to his children. In 1928, the company was renamed to Otto & Sons. This was the first of many big innovations and changes by the company.

Read more: A Century of Innovation at OSI Group

When Ray Kroc opened the first ever McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Illinois, he had already made plans to have Arthur and Harry Kolschowsky – the sons of Otto – partner with him. The franchising of restaurants was just picking up steam. Little did they know at the time, but McDonald’s would soon be the biggest franchised restaurant in the whole world. As McDonald’s grew, Otto & Sons would grow as well. In a couple decades, both companies were international entities.

The main cause of their growth comes as a result of the invention of flash freezing. This meant that food could be transported across long distances with fearing that the food will expire. It also meant that every McDonald’s in the country would have the same great taste. Otto & Sons were gaining steam. In fact, they opened a factory specifically to handle orders from McDonald’s.

Otto & Sons changed their name to OSI Industries in 1975. The name change was a symbol of a new era for the company. They were no longer a local wholesaler, so it only made sense for them to change their name again.

Today, OSI Industries supplies restaurants like Burger King, Starbucks, and Subway. They are active in 17 different countries and have over 65 different factories.

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