Category Archives: McDonald’s

The OSI Group: From Tiny Meat Shop To International Meat Supplier

OSI Group is an Aurora, Illinois based meat processing company that supplies the retail and food service industries. Founded in 1909 by Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant, the company was initially a family meat market. He expanded his operation into the wholesale meat trade in 1917. In 1928 the company became known as Otto & Sons and for several decades it earned a reputation for providing the highest quality meats. OSI Group boasts $6 Billion in annual sales and was listed as the 58th largest private company in America by Forbes magazine.

In 1955, Otto & Sons made a deal that would later become its primary business. The sons of Otto Kolschowsky made a handshake deal with Ray Kroc and his new company called McDonald’s. The deal was for Otto & Sons to provide the fresh ground beef patties for the fledgling start-up. That grew into a very lucrative contract and the company eventually became one of McDonald’s four meat suppliers for its stores nationally with the invention of Cryogenic food processing in the late 1960s.

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Otto & Sons built a high-volume meat plant in 1973 in West Chicago. It had specially developed liquid nitrogen freezing tunnels and patty-forming machines. It also created Glenmark, a separate unit of the company that handled its non-McDonald’s business like providing specialty and processed meats to local restaurants and supermarkets. Otto & Sons changed its name to OSI Industries in 1975. Soon afterwards it became McDonald’s exclusive meat supplier and grow in prosperity and size with the success and spread of the McDonald’s franchise. Glenmark was acquired by Best Chicago Meat in 2011.

These days OSI Group offers a wide range of meat products. They include bacon, fish, hot dogs, meat patties, pork and poultry. They also offer vegetable and dough products. OSI provides meat to Papa John’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Subway and other western fast food chains doing business in China. The company also produces and packages private label brands for some of its retail and foodservice customers. OSI, which has plants in Chicago, West Chicago and Geneva, Illinois, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, Oakland, Iowa, Riverside, California and West Jordan, Utah, uses the name OSI Industries, LLC for its U.S. plants. OSI Group also has over 65 facilities in 17 countries around the world.

Over the years the OSI facilities have been given numerous awards for health and safety risks management and environmental management.