In 2022, Costco sold over 117 million rotisserie chickens! At $5 each, that’s over half a BILLION dollars from the bountiful brown birds alone.
If lined up end to end, they would almost circle the entire earth!
Here are other fun facts about Costco rotisserie chicken:
Rotisserie chicken was first sold in a Costco near Montréal, Canada. It was introduced in 1995 by two Canadian employees who were inspired by a major Canadian supermarket chain that sold rotisserie chickens. They had a special oven designed and manufactured for them and sold over 6,000 chickens the first week.
Unsold rotisserie chickens are pulled from the shelf after two hours to ensure their top quality. After that, the meat is pulled to used in soups, salads, sandwiches, etc. in the deli.
Costco loses money on every chicken sold – but believes they serve them best as a “loss leader” to get customers in the door to buy other products during their visit, and helps grow memberships.
The rotisserie ovens are deliberately placed in the back of the store so that customers have to walk through the entire length of the store to get to them, thus increasing the chance they will buy something else.
In 2019, Costco opened its own poultry farm in Nebraska with over 500 barns where they now process over 2 million chickens per week – supplying about half of all rotisserie chickens sold at Costco.
A Costco rotisserie chicken will yield approximately 1.7 lbs of meat.
Costco rotisserie chicken is high in sodium; the chickens sold by Krogers have just 40 milligrams of sodium per 3-ounce serving compared with Costco’s 460 milligrams per serving. That’s over 10X more!
Animal rights activists have sued Costco for the conditions of its facilities – saying they chickens grow too fast to support their own weight. That lawsuit is still pending.
Costco hasn’t raised the $4.99 price of its rotisserie chickens since they introduced them in 1995 – except for a one year period in 2008 when they were sold for $5.99 temporarily.
These fun facts are inspired by the new book “The Joy of Costco – A Treasure Hunt from A to Z” by David & Susan Schwartz. This is such an awesome book and obviously a lot of time, care, and research went into making it.
Pick a few up on Amazon (or you may also find it at your local Costco) and give them as Holiday gifts to the Costco lovers in your life.