Listed by Forbes magazine (2011) at the 136th position as one of the private American companies in terms of size with $ 3 billion, OSI Industries has come a long way. Started by Otto Kolschowsky, an immigrant from Germany in 1909, OSI group began as a meat market supplier for Illinois families in Oak Road. Otto’s business expanded and relocated to Maywood in 1917 becoming a meat wholesaler and changing its name to Otto and sons, its reputation as a provider of quality meat was also soaring.
However, OSI Groups success can be attributed to a friendship with Roy Kroc, founder of McDonalds that began around 1955. Then a small startup, Kroc approached Otto and Sons and they agreed to supply him with beef patties, a handshake was enough to formalize the deal. Soon Otto and Sons core business became supplying McDonalds local restaurants with meat, their position was further cemented when McDonalds later made them one of its only 4 meat suppliers following the emergence of fresh food preservation through the Cryogenic processing, which rendered about 200 of McDonalds suppliers jobless. Otto and Sons growth then grew proportionately to McDonald’s geographic expansion since it supplied all its outlets. Otto and Sons was changed to OSI Group in 1975.
OSI Group has plants located in Illinois, California, Wisconsin and others in Fort Atkinson, West Jordan, Iowa and Utah, offering animal products such as meat patties, fish, pork and other dough products.
OSI has presence in 17 other countries and obtained a controlling stake in Baho Food last year, Baho Food has branches in all of Germany and Dutch land and provides food to 18 European countries. It also took over Flagship Europe’s production. Flagship Europe deals in production of pies, condiments and also frozen poultry, this has opened for it market in Europe. OSI Group also spent $7.4 million in the acquisition of Tyson Foods that helped it acquire the businesses production lines that has poultry, vegetable and beef products such as hamburgers, pork and meatballs.
Keys to Success
OSI attributes its success in the face of global expansion to maintaining a close relationship with their local customer base in the countries they operate in. Tastes vary and cultures differ, thus the need to have close ties with them in order to produce each country’s preferred taste. They have also standardized their products in terms of food safety and quality. OSI Groups future looks bright.
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