OSI Group a family meat market that was opened in 1909 when German immigrant Otto Kolschowsky settled in Oak Park, Illinois. Within two years he expanded his business to a wholesale meat trade and moved the business to Maywood, a suburb of Chicago. In 1928 the business was renamed Otto and Sons and garnered a reputation for offering quality meats.
OSI Group is a privately-owned holding company dealing in meat processing to service the food service and retail industries. Their international headquarters are in Aurora, Illinois. OSI Group are now a global supplier of food products to some of the world’s leading food service and retail food brands.
When McDonald’s started up in 1955 they chose Otto and Sons as their supplier of fresh ground beef patties. In the late 1960’s Cryogenic food processing revolutionized the fast food industry making it easy to get consistently good products from a few of the high-volume producers. This made the need to rely on a network of approximately 150-200 fresh beef suppliers. Otto and Sons accepted McDonald’s offer to be one of their four meat suppliers.
1973 saw the opening of OSI Group’s first high-volume meat plant in West Chicago. They now had specially developed patty-forming machines and liquid nitrogen in freezing tunnels. They also, at the same time entered an agreement with Best Chicago Meat Company to use the Glenmark brand. This brand was for the non-McDonald’s business for local small area restaurants and processed meat to the area supermarkets. The Glenmark brand was, in 2011, wholly acquired by Best Chicago Meat Company, LLC.
The name was changed to OSI Industries in 1975 at which time it was McDonald’s exclusive supplier which allowed them to grow in size and prosperity with the geographical expansion of McDonald’s.
By 2016 Forbes had OSI listed as #58 of the largest privately owned company based on their annual revenues of $6.1 billion. There are now 65 facilities with 20,000 employees in 17 countries around the world.
In December of 2016, they purchased Flagship Europe, a supplier to the United Kingdom food service market. This added innovative products like sous vide products and frozen poultry.
Their next acquisition was a Dutch company, Baho Food giving them a broader presence in Europe, as Baho Food serves Germany and the Netherlands.
Their next purchase was a Tyson Foods plant in Chicago for $7.4 million. This purchase which is close to their other Chicago facilities will provide the infrastructure for the support of continued business growth.