Ever driven to Costco just to get a mouthwatering rotisserie chicken? At just $4.99, it’d be stupid not to – even when you factor in the cost of gas. But when you next chow down on one of these bargain birds, consider this: there’s a big price being paid. And you eventually may be the one having to cover that cost.
Famously cheap chicken
You won’t be confronted with that price at Costco, of course. Rotisserie chickens have remained at a steady $4.99 there since 2009. And plenty of the birds are flying – although not literally! – out of the doors. We know this because a Costco boss spilled the beans.
60 million chickens a year
In a 2018 interview with NPR, Costco head of external affairs Jessica Kolterman revealed something astonishing. At that time, the big-box store was selling about 60 million chickens each year in the U.S. alone. That’s a whole lot of birds! And it means either the retail giant is missing a trick when it comes to profits – or it’s gone to extreme lengths to secure this price.
But despite growing concern about the brand’s birds, they have become somewhat of a cult item. They even have their own Facebook page with over 18,000 followers! Not everyone is so smitten, though, and that could be because they know how Costco secures such a plentiful flow of chickens on demand.
Keeping the price low
It’s weird, too, that Costco is adamant about keeping the cost of its chicken down. Many members wouldn’t quibble about paying an extra dollar or two on top of that $4.99. We bet sales wouldn’t be much affected, either. So, could the whole thing be an error? And is it Costco that’s having to pay the price?