OSI Group: A century of excellence

OSI Group has been a global powerhouse in the food industry for many years; having more than 20,000 employees across 17 countries, it’s easy to see that the company’s management has striven to keep their growing momentum since day one. Their global prowess has been attributed to its strong leadership, culture of excellence, and its long history of strategic business partnerships.

OSI Group’s modern chapter has continued to experience steady growth under the leadership of chief operating officer (COO) David McDonald, making them one of the world’s largest multi-billion dollar companies. Much like OSI Group, David McDonald had to start from square one in order to develop himself as one of the most influential forces in the company’s success. For over three decades, David McDonald had been rising through the company’s ranks from project manager to president through his rigorous work, and his passion for keeping customers a priority. His commitment for excellence had been present even before his involvement as a project manager, receiving accolades for his academic achievements at Iowa State University.

The recipe for the privately owned company’s success didn’t stop at McDonald’s leadership and work ethic, but also incorporated the company’s hardwired goal to stick to its roots and keep the company identity as a food distributor. Founded by Otto Kolschowsky, the company emerged as a meat market to cater to the ever expanding German migrant population in early 1900’s Chicago. Within a decade, the meat market had expanded into a wholesale food distributor and in 1928 was eventually re-branded as Otto and Sons.

OSI Group didn’t stagnate and remained a local distributor for the Chicago area, as the second generation of company owners looked for better avenues to expand the business. During the post WWII economic boom, Otto and Sons came into a deal with the ever-expanding McDonald’s fast food chain and was immediately catapulted as one of the most profitable food distributors in the world. Otto and Sons was able to use the McDonald’s brand’s innovation in franchising to to become the primary beef distributor for their franchises. This smart move on behalf of Otto and Sons eventually led to the company’s transition into the OSI Group global brand which we now recognize today.

For more than 100 years, OSI Group has continued to develop as one of the world’s best examples of the American dream and the will to win through unshakable perseverance.

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