OSI group began in 1909 as Otto & Sons, a family butcher shop in Chicago’s Oak Park neighborhood. Despite familiar beginnings as a local immigrant business built from the ground up, Otto & Sons soon distinguished itself with a fortuitous arrangement. When Ray Kroc opened the first McDonalds franchise in Des Plaines, Illinois in 1955, he contracted Otto & Sons to provide meat for the restaurant, beginning what would become the lengthy and profitable OSI Group McDonalds partnership.
As McDonalds grew, so did Otto & Sons. In the late 1960s, the innovation of flash-freezing allowed for further expansion, as well as a consistent, nationwide product. With this development, Otto & Sons became one of five meat suppliers for McDonalds restaurants nationwide. Through the next decades the company, now called OSI group, expanded and partnered throughout the world, following McDonalds into such countries as Germany, Spain, the Philippines, Brazil, and others. Although the OSI Group McDonalds partnership expanded into China in the 1990s, the company’s growth there did not take off until 2001, when China entered the World Trade Organization.
As it grew, the OSI group began to provide products for many different restaurants in addition to McDonalds, including Papa John’s, Burger King, Subway, and Yum. From this time on, the OSI Group Mcdonalds partnership no longer defined OSI Group. In the late 90s, in addition to expanding into other markets, OSI Group began diversifying its product line, buying a processing plant in 1996 for the production of bacon, sausage, and hot dogs. OSI also purchased a UK-based poultry processing company in the same year. Further diversification occurred later, with expansions into plant products such as soy, vegetables, beans, and salsa in the early 20-teens.
Although the OSI Group McDonalds partnership is largely responsible for the success of OSI Group, in recent years the company has taken steps to diversify and expand in ways which ensured its independence and stability for years to come.