The Many Faces of Foodservice Giant OSI Group

The professional foodservice industry is a thriving community that generates billions of dollars on an annual basis. There are a number of high-quality food providers that work in this specific industry, but OSI Group stands-out as one of the best. This international wholesaler provides a wide array of food products such as onions, beef patties, tomatoes, cheese, fritters, chicken wings, chicken nuggets, turkey products, desserts, soups, chili, cooked sausage links, cookies, steak and many more. As of 2016, OSI Group was ranked by Forbes as the 58th largest privately held company in America. The company was reported to bringing in more than $6 billion.

Despite its rather large success of today, OSI group was once a butcher shop. That’s right! Otto & Sons was its name, and it was family-owned and operated. Otto Kolschowski the company’s founder, came to America with a dream. He, and his family would settle in Oak Park, Illinois. During this particular time, the US was being flooded with immigrants who were seeking the American dream. Chicago’s population exploded with German immigrants, which just so happened to makeup a quarter of Chicago’s bustling population. Otto & Sons made a name for itself fairly quickly. The company was small, but it was producing and selling some of the freshest beef products in the area. After 10 years of doing business, Otto & Sons transformed into a food wholesale. As the postwar-economic expansion took place, restaurants began to sprout in an outward direction. McDonald’s was just finding its foothold in the game thanks to Otto & Sons.

By becoming one of McDonald’s major beef suppliers, Otto & Son’s had finally entered the big leagues. As the next few years went by, the company changed its name to OSI Group. OSI Group’s success came from various services, but the cryogenics revolution of the 1960s pushed the company into the stratosphere. The high-quality meats could now be frozen more progressively via liquid nitrogen, and the meats could travel for further distances without spoiling. OSI has always led the way when it came to cutting-edge technology and in 1973, the company opened its first plant in the Chicagoland area.