How OSI Made Fast Food A Global Business

In today’s world fast food is a billion dollar business. You can find cheeseburgers, fried chicken, and pizzas everywhere from Japan to South Africa. The ubiquitous presence of burgers and fries is largely due to the work of the meat processor OSI Group. The way OSI Group perfected the art of preserving meat paved the way for the fast food franchises of today. The key innovation of OSI Group, cryogenic food processing, liberated fast food chains from the constant need for fresh meat. In 2011 OSI Group generated so much revenue it was considered the 136th largest private company in the world making OSI Group the king of meat processors.

The Breakthrough That Started It All

In 1909 a German immigrant named Otto Kolschowsky opened a family meat market in Oak Park, Illinois. Under his eye the meat market saw great success and his sons eventually joined him. Renamed Otto and Sons roughly two decades later the family business enjoyed a solid reputation among the local customers. The success of Otto and Sons grew until 1955 when Ray Kroc, the founder of Mcdonald’s, agreed to make Otto and Sons one of this fresh meat suppliers. Eventually the business between the Kolschowsky brothers and Mcdonald’s eclipsed all other Kolschowsky business dealings.

Rising To International Success

The introduction of cyrogenic meat processing allowed OSI to overwhelm the other suppliers of Mcdonald’s and reduced the need for fresh meat suppliers. The success of Mcdonald’s created success for OSI. In 1975 the Kolschowsky brothers became the exclusive supplier of meat to Mcdonald’s across the world. Undergoing another renaming OSI Industries caught the eye of other fast food chains looking for a way to cut their reliance on fresh meat suppliers. OSI expanded the array of meat products it processed to include things its new clients needed. Corn dogs, bacon, vegetables and dough were given the cryogenic treatment to expand the number of franchises OSI could supply.

The Continued Reign Of OSI

OSI currently operates 60 facilities in 16 countries scattered throughout the world. There are OSI meat plants in North America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Asian-Pacific Region. The company continues to expand well beyond its humble beginnings in Oak Park, Illinois. As long as there are fast food chains in need of frozen meat, vegetables, and dough OSI Groups will stay in business.

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