Costco Chicken

The Lempert Report
August 04, 2022

Phil: So some good news about food inflation. Costco is not raising the price of its rotisserie kitchen. It's still $4 and 99 cents. The price that's been for 12 years, even though in the past year, chicken prices have increased by 18.6%. So Costco big in the chicken business, they sell a hundred million chickens every year. They use it as a loss leader in the same way they do with their hot dogs and, and soda. You know, I think the thing that I find the weirdest is Costco's rotisserie chickens have its own Facebook page and their own hours. And Hey, you know, I give a lot of credit to Costco, not only about the price of what they've done, but, you know, they're vertically integrated as it relates to chickens. So what they've done is they've made improvements in the slaughter of the chickens. They've improved the conditions for meat processing workers. They're cleaning up the air and the water pollution from these factories. So, you know, the bottom line is it's possible to make improvements in our food supply and still keep the price low. Are you a Costco rotisserie chicken person?

Sally: I am not a Costco shopper, and I really want to be, I keep trying to remember that I need to get out there and try it out. But, this, you know, I know a rotisserie chicken at my local Kroger, or my Publix is, is going to be eight to $10 there. And so, I mean, this is a great way, especially right now, to get people into the store, and to fill their carts up with other items and totally agree with the vertical integration that, you know, this is something that, you know, not only is probably helping them keep the cost down and saving them money, but maybe it actually allows for a little bit more of regulating of the process of the poultry farms and making sure that everything is, you know, is going according to ethics.

Phil: Yeah. And, you know, we've, we've seen a lot out of the Biden administration where they're talking about, you know, going after meat packing facilities because it's only in the hands of four companies. It really, you know, hurts consumers, but this story with Costco, it really proves that you can do it right, and you could save money. You'll probably remember Sally that, you know, a few years ago, I think we did a story when Kraft came out with their hundred calorie packs. It was a way to try to help consumers to eat less, have less calories. And the problem was that bottom line is all the customers were calling up the Kraft hotline, the 800 number complaining that the hundred calorie packs didn't have enough food. So, you know, you almost can't win.