How OSI Food Solutions Expanded In The Course Of A Century

OSI Food Solutions was founded in 1909, starting out as a butcher shop opened by Otto Kolschowsky, a member of the then-growing German community in Chicago, Illinois. The city was a center of industry, and it provided a good opportunity for immigrants to establish farms. Kolschowsky opened his small retail meat market after only 2 years of being in the United States, and managed to make his business grow throughout the first decade.

Later down the line, the business was passed over to Kolschowsky sons, Arthur and Harry, who entered into an agreement with Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s restaurant. McDonald’s was just starting out, having its first restaurant opened in 1955, and had OSI Food Solutions as its first supplier of ground beef. As McDonald’s continued to expand, so did the business of OSI. The partnership between the two small businesses turned into a massive success and provided a platform for both companies to grow and develop.

As the company grew, OSI Food Solutions ventured into different sectors within the food industry. Their expansion continues to this day, more than a century later, being one of the largest companies in the U.S. and having sales of $6.1 billion. They were part of Forbes’ 2016 list, ranked at number 58 in the list of largest private companies.

In 2016 their UK center earned the Globe of Honour Award, a prestigious recognition from the British Safety Council as a result of their attention to detail when managing environmental risks. In order to win the award, OSI Food Solutions achieved five stars in the council’s environmental management audit scheme, which is the maximum amount possible. The company’s U.K. branch has been operating ever since 1989, and in the past has won the Globe of Honour twice, in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

As a result of their dramatic global growth, OSI Food Solutions is currently one of the biggest food providers on the planet. This was achieved through a series of strategic expansions in the late 1980s and early 1990s in countries like Brazil, Austria, as well as Mexico, Hungary and Poland. From a small butcher shop, the small business turned into a multi-national corporation, with 65 facilities in 17 countries, and approximately 20,000 employees. Their dedication to offering a high-quality and consistent products ensured the satisfaction of their customers throughout the globe, the company being expected to experience further growth in the following years.