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This Is Why Costco Only Charges $5 For A Rotisserie Chicken

If you’re the observant sort of shopper who
wants to get the most out of every dime, it’s possible you’ve noticed that Costco’s fully
cooked, 3-pound rotisserie chickens are actually cheaper than their uncooked ones. They’re also among the cheapest rotisserie
chickens around, making this a deal that seems too good to be true. “so, you got money?” “Not a penny. But I’ll still take that chicken!” In fact, the chicken is so cheap, it doesn’t
seem like Costco could even make money selling them. And yet, Costco continues to sell them for
$4.99 while their competitors have raised prices. So what’s going on here? To get the answer, first we have to jump in
the Wayback machine for a look at the avian flu crisis of 2015, which threatened the entire
US poultry industry. With countless birds lost, Barclays analyst
Meredith Adler asked Costco’s chief financial officer Richard Galanti if this would finally
result in the company raising prices. He said, “I can only tell you what history has shown
us: When others were raising their chicken prices from $4.99 to $5.99, we were willing
to eat, if you will, $30 to $40 million a year in gross margin by keeping it at $4.99. That’s what we do for a living.” Why would Costco leave tens of millions of
dollars in potential profits on the table if they could sell the chicken for more? Because they think they can make even more
money by selling chicken cheaper. Costco first began selling their $4.99 chicken
in 2009 and it was an instant hit. Just a year later, Costco sold 51 million
rotisserie chickens, and by 2017 that number was up to 87 million. That’s a lot of customers coming through the
door looking for chicken, which is why Costco keeps their chickens all the way in the back
of the store. Many other chains use the same strategy of
luring customers into their stores with cheap, delicious chicken. Don Fitzgerald, vice president of merchandising
at the Kroger-owned Mariano’s, told the Wall Street Journal that it’s all about getting
people in the door — and then pouncing with high profit margin add ons. “If they get a chicken, a salad, and maybe
they pick up a bottle of wine — now we’re really talking.” While Costco isn’t the only player in the
rotisserie chicken game, they’re taking steps to go above and beyond their competition. Since they started selling, they’ve invested
in larger, high-efficiency ovens, and containers made with less plastic, both of which help
keep their costs down. And, in 2018, The Seattle Times reported Costco
was investing hundreds of millions of dollars in a massive chicken farm located in eastern
Nebraska. The centrally-located state was chosen, in
part, because of the large corn and soybean production there, which will save Costco on
feed costs. That’s important, because they’re going to
have a lot of chickens to feed: an estimated 100 million a year. The only downside, of course, is a less personalized
chicken experience than you might get from a boutique dealer. “the chicken you’ll be enjoying tonight…”
“you have this information, this is fantastic!” “Absolutely! His name was Colin.” And there are other plans in the works, too. They’re in talks to raise hundreds more chicken
barns, and while it’s a hefty initial investment, it’s going to help their keep costs low in
the future. Of course, none of that explains why Costco’s
uncooked chickens are actually more expensive than their cooked chickens, which seems backwards. After all, they’re doing all the work so you
don’t have to! “What are we supposed to do with that?” “eat it.” “Eat it?! The f—–‘s alive!” But Time Money suggests there may be a sneaky
reason for this too — cooked chickens are going to go bad faster, and they want to keep
them at a price point that’ll make sure they’re continuously going out the door. They definitely do at that price! It’s also worth noting that rotisserie chickens
aren’t the only products Costco has said they’ll keep at these insanely, super-low prices. According to Time, Costco’s jumbo hot dog
and drink deal has been priced at $1.50 since the mid-1980s. It’s all about increasing foot traffic, and
that’s been particularly challenging for stores like Costco, which generally aren’t located
in super-convenient areas where people might pop in regularly to see what’s on the shelves. People need a reason to make the trek to Costco,
and what’s a better reason than a quick and tasty low-cost dinner that’s ready to serve? And besides. Passing up the chicken might make them angry. And you don’t really want to get the rotisserie
chicken angry, do you? “I don’t know, I think they’re kind of cute,
this one just walked right up to me and…” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about delicious
chickens are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

Randall Smitham



  1. Mashed Posted on February 6, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Are you a fan of that Costco chicken? Why or why not?

  2. Dude...Are you sure?? Posted on June 3, 2019 at 7:11 am

    quoting video "its all about getting people through the door and pouncing with higher profit margin add ons." but its not like costco is loosing money on these items, they are just not making the maximum pm on them. the chickens are the "reasons" that people go there and while there, they are bound to buy something else that'll make up for the reduced pm of the chicken or hot dogs or whatever. i do believe this is a common strategy that many business employ not just markets.

  3. MK ULTRA Posted on June 4, 2019 at 4:22 am

    Winco has this for also 5 bucks. And costco is not 5 bucks anymore.

  4. OneHung Low Posted on June 4, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Their chicken is also BIGGER than those from other places

  5. kentoh 254 Posted on June 7, 2019 at 6:02 am

    the chicken u r bout to eat was called collins !

  6. YouTube king Posted on June 9, 2019 at 3:00 am

    I chock my chicken

  7. Dennis Kaaihue Posted on June 9, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Just remember everyone out there when shopping at cosco. Shop for quality stuff not quantity stuff. Value for what it's worth make sense.

  8. Me Too Posted on June 10, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Hot dog and soda anyone?

  9. Katherine Orho Posted on June 12, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Research Meat Birds. You might not be so eager to eat that bigger bird.

  10. Kim Borland Posted on June 13, 2019 at 9:01 am

    I love me some costco pizza

  11. Gman 49 Posted on June 13, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Also cooking chickens just as the reach their sell by date. They cook and sell it instead of throwing them away.

  12. David Lindstrom Posted on June 16, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    they're checking straight their produce or go to $2 for spinach check those sails out when it comes close to the due date everything goes down to two

  13. David Lindstrom Posted on June 16, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    Costco's great there people are super they're polite or courteous and they're actually can be funny Costco people on Kauai are the best working

  14. David Lindstrom Posted on June 16, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    Yeah my cats love Costco chicken they just love the chicken so besides pleasing me you're placing the cats of the world and that's a good

  15. Joseph Feinburg Posted on June 18, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    We stopped buying their rotisserie
    chickens anymore because they are very large which must make them very tough.

  16. Heru- deshet Posted on June 19, 2019 at 12:07 am

    Because they can.

  17. Heru- deshet Posted on June 19, 2019 at 12:10 am

    It's $4.98 at Walmart.

  18. artist one Posted on June 22, 2019 at 1:35 am

    wegmans has a rotisserie chicken for 4.99. it's called a loss leader!

  19. Tony Ho Posted on June 23, 2019 at 2:25 am

    Costco chicken makes me sick all the time……I'm Asian and I eat all types of foods yet Everytime I eat Costco rosltessirre chicken it gives me an upset stomach

  20. Tony Ho Posted on June 23, 2019 at 2:26 am

    Costco = cancer foods….most are frozen synthetic processed foods…I just go to Costco to buy eggs and electronic stuff…their foods are deadly cancer foods

  21. Tony Ho Posted on June 23, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Poor chickens …this is why I eat less meat… Imagine alien species of higher intelligence invade Earth and we will be their chickens or pigs….it's only a matter of time….

  22. nebuchadnezzar Diko Posted on June 23, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Am vegetarian

  23. nebuchadnezzar Diko Posted on June 23, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Slouterering and killing for fun

  24. Kenneth Campbell Posted on June 24, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Although you can get a chicken at Wal-Mart for $4.98 (as someone pointed out) they are MUCH smaller. Sam's Club sells their chickens for $4.99, too. Their chickens are 3.5 pounds and taste a lot better than Costco's! Great deals on pizza, snacks and Italian sausages at the in-store "deli", too!

  25. Tonton des Bois Posted on June 25, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    if you find a chicken grown in battery is still food, you never ate a real chicken… this is just water, grease and antibiotics, no meat there…

  26. Everett Sykes Posted on June 26, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    The chickens are called a loss leader. It gets asses in the door. Simple.

  27. bouyant Posted on June 27, 2019 at 10:16 pm


  28. jerry hayes Posted on June 28, 2019 at 12:37 am

    I went into a publics and the price of a rotisserie chicken was 8.99 ,so I called Costco and ask If i could come buy just one chicken because it was like pharmacy food for the soul ,they said no so I asked if they could start selling the whole cooked at the food court ,the manager said he would look into it.I got chicken on my taste buds so I was not going to give up,I then asked if I could borrow a chicken for 4.99 and promise to buy a membership on pay day,the answer was still no and you could see the ripples starting to form on his fore head at that point I attempted to ask one more question and he blurted out just go and get 1 chick and no more and man did it taste good when I got home.I wore him down but the next day I sent an e-mail to the corporate office and recommended the he be the employee of the year. I love that Costco's chicken.

  29. No Bozos Posted on June 28, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    Their chickens, hot dogs and pizzas are DELICIOUS, and I know that when I go to get one of these items I'm going to end up buying something else. It's a mutually beneficial relationship.

    A prostitute doesn't wear revealing clothes because she likes the look, you know?

  30. Angela Posted on June 29, 2019 at 1:53 am

    i literally just bought a rotisserie chicken from costco for 5 bucks

  31. Rick HatesMisleadia Posted on June 29, 2019 at 7:01 am

    2:50 their doing all the work but personally I like chicken cooked many ways so eating rotisserie isn't gonna happen much.

  32. Rick HatesMisleadia Posted on June 29, 2019 at 7:03 am

    3:15 if your into lips and assholes which you couldn't pay me to eat. ALL processed meat is bad for people and shouldn't be eaten even on a weekly basis, let alone daily. It's likely the leading cause of most cancers and chronic health problems today but THAT will never be brought into reality. It's the cheapest and most profitable food to feed the hungry masses and keep them from rioting, then profit on the health care end. It's a win win for the corps and government but a lose lose for the population. Does anyone think the rich people eat subway or cold cuts!? NOT! They have fresh made food and personal chefs to cook it. THEY NEVER eat the slop that's feed to the masses!

  33. gymratatouille Posted on June 30, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Wally's is $4.98

  34. Kinte-Rashayah @7LAMPSofFIRE Posted on July 1, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    If I see a Publix Rotisserie at $6.99 I will go to Costco and buy 2 for $4.99.

  35. Joseph Collins Posted on July 2, 2019 at 3:25 am

    Sams club 4.99

  36. Barry Patel Posted on July 2, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    The major reason is that the raw chickens that are used are at their expiry date. They would have to be thrown out or turned into chicken feed or dog food anyway.

  37. Carmel Correale Posted on July 3, 2019 at 12:44 am

    I have had Pastry products from Costco Australia Sydney and they are STALE and overly greasy disgusting, and you can never find the same 'good products’ again which makes me wonder does COSCO sell discarded seconds from manufactures of foods and goods?

  38. It's Me, Steve Posted on July 3, 2019 at 4:59 am

    A guy on YouTube said rotisserie chickens in retail are cheap because they use the cheapest chicken to cook and lowest quality. These types of chickens are the ones that farmers keep in those dark warehouses. They eat whatever the farmers feed them like corn and they even eat their own shit and they walk around in their own shit.. They don't have even space to walk around and they just sit because they are fed horomones to make their breast and thighs bigger. They can't support their own weight so they just sit around. That's why the chicken meat is so soft it's because they are inactive.

  39. jd dj Posted on July 3, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    This company is selling the public death. Soybean seeds were altered over 55 years ago. All research showed consumption, increased all 4 cancers in women, breast, ovarian, cervical, and uterine, with an increase in blood disorders, brain tumors, and bone disease in males and females. In men we have the increase in prostate cancer, penial erectile dysfunction, low testosterone (male hypogonadism), with an increase of breast cancer now being found in men. Look at the pictures of how these chickens are being raised which is not normal. If you check other ingredients you will probably find sugar and corn starch. The sugar helps calcify the pineal gland and eventually helps shut down its function giving cells their capabilities of keeping good cells good and eliminating the bad cells, the corn is probably from monsantos which has a long sting of sickness attached to all of the products produced from altered micro organisms or cells of seeds. The main purpose is to keep the public sick and dumbed down dependent on medications, more likely because people in this company are invested in pharmaceuticals which is easy money and highly profitable. I hope people who want to invest in themselves take heed to information that is out there and understand why a company like this would take a big loss in selling you a cheap chicken on the front side when on the back side they make millions when you are sick.

  40. Sacred Sun Posted on July 4, 2019 at 5:00 am

    Keeping your voice constant through narration makes the video dry and boring, and tends to put listeners to sleep. Try to have some variance to keep things lively. I could only stand 5 minutes until the voice just bored me to death.

  41. Fred Munoz Posted on July 4, 2019 at 10:33 am

    This is why Americans are so sick.

  42. Zeledo Health Posted on July 4, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    now i know

  43. Rick Reyes Posted on July 4, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    My wife and I are elderly citizens and no longer require a lot of food.

  44. tripjet999 Posted on July 5, 2019 at 1:22 am

    BFD! Sam's Club has all the items at the same prices or ever a few cents cheaper.

    Sadly, BOTH Costco and Sam's are drug pushers, since they still push the ILLEGAL TOBACCO DRUG!


  45. Howzyer Bippy Posted on July 5, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    wow you discovered merchandizing and loss-leaders

  46. Night to Day Posted on July 5, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    The best Porlandia episode 2:25 "His name was Collin" and true to the pretentiousness that Portland hipsters are! Nailed it

  47. D.R. Lane Posted on July 6, 2019 at 12:06 am

    best rotisserie chicken on planet! Big, juicy, delicious and cost-wonderful! And yes, always buy more there than the chicken, which i probably wouldn't buy had i not been there for the chicken. Try eating a Raley's, or Nob Hill, or safeway version after enjoying Costco's. There is simply no comparison and Costco's tastes better than any of them. Bravo Costco!

  48. Chris J Posted on July 6, 2019 at 4:01 am

    3:30 "here's your spike of chicken madam"

  49. James Pack Posted on July 7, 2019 at 12:14 am

    I love their rotisserie chicken and foot long dogs (along with massive packages of toilet paper) and SAMPLES to EAT! But, truth be known, our local Walmart marks down it's rotisserie chicken after it's sat under the warming bins for a few hours to $2.74 ! Yes, they take them and set them in the odd lots of cheese/meats from the deli section. Can't beat $2.74 for a rotisserie chicken that can feed a family of 4, even if it's cold.

  50. jogga singh teidy Posted on July 7, 2019 at 10:44 am

    they r going for volume sales, attract more customers. why buy dearer unccoked, when u can have cheaper cooked. so in the end they sell more chickens.

  51. Neil Baker Posted on July 7, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    Loss leader.

  52. J. Mulleno Posted on July 8, 2019 at 2:14 am

    I have a question, Does Cosco chicken farms chickens get to go out in the sun, move freely or is it as a chicken farm picture in this video shows?

  53. triode1 Posted on July 8, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    The ever irritating voice……😝

  54. The Alabama Savant Posted on July 8, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    That’s why I go into Costco with my blinders on! Strait to the chickens & strait out…maybe a dog & Coke on the way out…

  55. larry perice Posted on July 8, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    Best roasted chicken, n the price is Right..Great store, well organized, n can request to unload to ur car..no tips accepted..Credit card, reap rewards once a year, February..

  56. Bill Smlth Posted on July 9, 2019 at 3:49 am

    now it's o k to notice the blatant racism and discrimination against white males N O W

  57. Juan Galetto Posted on July 9, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    8 dollars in Canada ……

  58. Umaxen 00 Posted on July 9, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    This is a STUPID video. First of all, this is probably at COST. It brings people in to buy EVERYTHING else…

  59. Umaxen 00 Posted on July 9, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    YES, however parts are missing! What do they do with the head, neck, feet and butt nibble?

  60. L Pinero Holub Posted on July 9, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Too bad they put them in a plastic container right away. It becomes poison.

  61. STEVE KING Posted on July 10, 2019 at 3:51 am

    Actually they did raised the price but the brought back down because people started complaining

  62. Escape From NY Posted on July 10, 2019 at 8:25 am

    King Kullen (east coast) was the first supermarket to do this – they loose money on a product to lure in customers. Tried and true way to bring customers to your business.

  63. Escape From NY Posted on July 10, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Why is Yeardley Smith serving food at Costco?

  64. Chris Trudell Posted on July 10, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Yeah, I've heard about that rotisserie chicken mascot. Truly insanely vicious if you don't buy.😋😁🇨🇦👍

  65. Georgina Ky Posted on July 11, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Where can I find Costco in Worcester ma

  66. Brook Tanzania Posted on July 13, 2019 at 9:44 am

    I'm worried I just picked one up tonight for dinner am I going to poison myself?

  67. Nothing Free Posted on July 13, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    chicken? okay go buy a raw chicken take off all the skin, all the visable fat after that you will have almost two open handfuls of high cholesterol skin and greasy fat! that you would have eaten from just on bird! if you go to one of those chicken places to buy that crispy chicken you are also getting that skin , crispy fat grease to eat! probably worse than a beef burger when it comes to health and calories. just like the cow they are SLAUGHTERED but payback on humans is a fatso and heart disease same with the chicken eat them hey you go down too! 😀😀😀

  68. Joshua Moore Posted on July 14, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    It would cost more than $5 just to buy and raise the chicken to be that big. Most baby chicks live are $5+. Feed cost, water, housing, and supplements=more than $5 per chicken.

  69. Patrick Gallimore Posted on July 14, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Rotisserie Chicken, and its cheap price, is the bait to lure in shoppers…Very Smart!…Hope it's delicious…Rotisserie chicken has a flavor and moistness that's hard to beat.

  70. James Urenovitch Posted on July 14, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Its all its worth .

  71. O Table Posted on July 16, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    The chicken taste better now after cutting Tyson out and raising chicken themselves.

  72. noreck Posted on July 16, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    I have dilema. I bought in costco LCD Philips in 2005. Is grandfathered for costco warranty and now tv start a problem. What I should do? 🙂

  73. Pamela George Posted on July 16, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    A friend debones the chicken from costco, makes her own mole sauce and mixes in turkey foil pan and refrigerates overnight, pop in oven to reheat, serves at parties with tortillas…yummmm! 🇲🇽

  74. John Peymann Posted on July 17, 2019 at 1:19 am

    Bad chicken…mess you up!

  75. Nita keeping it Raw Posted on July 21, 2019 at 1:13 am

    Now that's competitive. 😊

  76. The rainbow of life 978 Posted on July 21, 2019 at 3:53 am

    I dont car eits f*ucking dleisues

  77. Real Dudes Party Nude Posted on July 23, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Don't worry about Costco selling anything as a loss-leader. No matter the price, these clever operators make money on everything, from their high prices to their usurious membership fees.

    Where did you get the notion Costco is underselling its competition? Here in Phoenix, all grocery stores charge $4.95 for rotisserie chickens. Only Sam's Club gives you a larger bird, plus, Sam's is still the #1 best of any around.

  78. Kevin Plourde Posted on July 28, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    I remember when I used to ride a chicken to school and back every day I think I bought that chicken for 3.99

  79. abz124816 Posted on July 29, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    Don't worry you stupid little bitch, they make it up in other ways.

  80. Michael Bisk Posted on July 31, 2019 at 1:38 am

    Looks like a Costco commercial

  81. Master Builder Dragon Posted on August 5, 2019 at 4:23 am

    I don’t know about you guys but I was really nervous when I clicked on this

  82. The15138 Posted on August 7, 2019 at 4:27 am

    well here in canada (quebec) we have to bake them for 45min still lot's of fat and pink …..2/15 $

  83. holly downs Posted on August 11, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    thank you for the smart info

  84. BangBoy Posted on August 15, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Look at the Chicken Carefully… There is no Spices over Chicken… It's Cheap and Cost Conscious…

  85. Moment Posted on August 16, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Steroids chicken?
    Trump eats it ?

  86. linda daulby Posted on August 19, 2019 at 12:37 am

    I buy reduced chicken when the sell buy date is on the day, i then cook it straight away then pull it all apart then put the bones and bits of chicken in a pan and make bone broth out of it.. very tasty too with mixed vegetables in it

  87. David Richards Posted on August 22, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Wal-Mart has same deal

  88. KENNETH BARNEYCASTLE Posted on August 29, 2019 at 3:10 pm


  89. Curly Watts Posted on September 1, 2019 at 9:53 am

    High quality meat

  90. Steven Pollard Posted on September 2, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    Wow I get 12 Pound for $8.99 at FoodLion

  91. Mark S. McKinney Posted on September 10, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    Sams and Meijers sell theirs for $5.00 also

  92. Jeffrey Richardson Posted on September 14, 2019 at 4:33 am

    lauries life saving
    breyns new sexual craving
    mike doug behaving

  93. big POPPA Posted on September 15, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    There chickens are so nasty. They cook it half way. And sell it to you.

  94. paul leepoy Posted on September 15, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    total shit they had it on the shelf for 5 days

  95. cnccarving Posted on September 15, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    walmart always under 5
    same good chicken

  96. Sean Reed Posted on September 17, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    Disgusting chicken farm. Chickens are standing knee deep in their own feces. These farms can do a much better job.

  97. Colin Re Posted on September 20, 2019 at 3:14 am

    Those chickens are the ones that are closest to their sell by date,that's why they are 5 bucks! Eat the whole thing,and dont eat it the next day, unless you want to get food poisoning

  98. Charlie Man Posted on September 20, 2019 at 10:47 am

    I have 50% of time not satisfied to wait on the longgg line for only a chicken or I have 50% of time would love to eat the chicken with some veggi so I usually grabs more then just a chicken and leave costco :DDDD

  99. Frank Martel Posted on September 21, 2019 at 2:49 am

    I am definitely not a fan of Costco rotisserie chicken. I had one before and the breast meat was fatty and tasted fast. The dark meat was literarily dripping with fat. I love dark meat but I could not eat Costco‘a as it was making me gag