Here’s a Real Reason Costco Will Never Stop Selling $4.99 Rotisserie Chicken

It’s no poser since consumers have a outrageous ardour for rotisserie duck deals during Costco and other vital supermarket chains.

Costco’s dear seasoned and precooked rotisserie chickens are famously priced during customarily $4.99 each, giving business a juicy choice that’s cheaper and healthier than discerning food. In an age when people constantly protest about being too bustling to ready dishes and eat as a family, we can feel good about picking adult a rotisserie duck and “cooking”—or during slightest portion it during home—instead of attack a grill or grouping some-more takeout.

But since is Costco peaceful to keep rotisserie duck prices so cheap? Customers are mostly undetermined since a price of underdone duck breasts is aloft than a entirely prepared, ready-to-eat chicken. What’s more, Costco says it frequently “eats” upwards of $40 million annually in boost since it hasn’t lifted rotisserie duck prices in years.

A new Wall Street Journal story sheds some light on customarily how absolute rotisserie chickens are in a grocery business—and since Costco and supermarkets happily remove income on any sale.

The brief answer is that rotisserie duck is a “loss leader.” It’s a product that a store sells during minimal or disastrous distinction specifically for a purpose of sketch in legions of business anticipating to take advantage of a deal. The judgment works for a tradesman in a grand scheme, since when business come in for their chicken, they’re expected to also collect adult extras to go along with a meal.

“If they get a chicken, a salad, and maybe they collect adult a bottle of wine—now we’re unequivocally talking,” Don Fitzgerald, clamp boss of merchandising during a Kroger-owned grocery sequence Mariano’s, explained to a Journal.

At a store like Costco, a patron competence find himself selling coffee pods, sneakers, a year’s supply of ketchup, or even a new TV during what was ostensible to be customarily a discerning revisit to collect adult a rotisserie duck for dinner. And a participation of inexpensive, ready-to-eat foods—not customarily $4.99 rotisserie chickens, yet also oversized $1.50 prohibited dogs that come with a giveaway drink—give business an forgive to boost their Costco selling magnitude from once or twice a month to once or twice any and any week.

Clearly, Costco has an outrageous strike on a hands with a $4.99 rotisserie chicken. The room membership tradesman reported sells an estimated 157,000 rotisserie chickens any day, on average, for a sum of 87 million sole final year—up from roughly 60 million in 2013. Fans can select from a outrageous accumulation of online recipes that incorporate Costco rotisserie duck into soups, pastas, and other dishes.

While many supermarkets have a constrained rotisserie duck deal—generally with prices in a operation of $5 to $7—it seems as yet Costco can’t be matched in terms of providing a best value. As a Journal notes: “Costco’s chickens import during slightest 3 pounds cooked, while rivals’ customarily import one-and-a-half to 2 pounds.”

The chickens are flattering healthy too. A “Dr. Oz” uncover from 2016 betrothed to display a “Hidden Ingredients” in rotisserie chickens sole by Costco and other retailers. But it incited out that many chickens are simply slathered with spices you’d expect—including salt and sugar. The chickens are typically seasoned in factories before being shipped off to stores like Costco to be cooked, subordinate them as processed foods.

Still, supermarket rotisserie chickens are “one of a healthiest processed dishes out there,” Dr. Oz said. He recommends “taking off a skin to keep it healthier.”

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