The Growth of OSI Industries: A Food Production Giant

How did OSI Industries — a Top 100 Food Company — come to be the massive enterprise that they are today? OSI encompasses an impressive 65 facilities spread over 17 countries, and it has become synonymous with foodservice goods. OSI Industries didn’t appear by happenstance, the company has been working its way to the top for years. In fact, OSI started as Otto & Sons a meat market in West Chicago. Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant, came to the country during the great German migration. He settled on opening a small butcher and meat supply shop, which over the years grew due to its impeccable quality and selection.

Otto & Sons story may have died out as a local butcher and meat shop, however, in 1955 Kroc opened the first McDonalds franchise. Kroc had made a deal with Harry and Arther, the sons of Otto Kolschowsky, to supply the beef products for the growing franchise. Of course, as we all know, McDonald’s exploded. Otto & Sons were ready to meet the demand. Rebranding themselves as OSI, the company responded to the McDonalds growth by meeting it with new facilities in various North American cities.

OSI started to become more and more geared towards growth during this period. The sons of Otto were nearing retirement and the company brought in new management that was prepared to take OSI Industries global. And global it went. The insane growth of OSI was market by its ability to form partnerships with companies overseas as well as make key acquisitions during its early and later stages.

One such acquisition came with the Acquisition of Baho Foods in 2016. Baho is a standout, not because of the particulars of its portfolio (though it is plenty diversified) but because of its control over Dutch and German factories. These are key markets in the food services game. Of course, the portfolio growth wasn’t bad either. OSI has a heavy focus on portfolio expansion, a trend that can be seen in their continued growth and their consistent creation of testing and creation labs. These labs give OSI a way to cater to the specific needs of a growing food service industry that has an emphasis on variety and uniqueness.

OSI Industries is a great example of a company that has outgrown its humble beginnings. The Baho food acquisition is a great example of how OSI is leveraging its assets to produce continued growth. OSI is a company worth keeping an eye on if you are interested in the growth of the foodservice industry and the products that are offered by foodservice icons such as Papa Johns and McDonald’s.

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