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Costco Is Allegedly Making a Major Change to Its Rotisserie Chickens

Costco shoppers are already sharply divided about whether the change is a positive or negative one.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

Few Costco items are quite as iconic as the retailer's rotisserie chickens—those hot, golden brown birds that are roasted in-house and then sold at the stubbornly low price of just $4.99. But the next time you go to grab one of those famously affordable chickens, the packaging may look very different thanks to a major change that's allegedly in the works.

Costco may start serving its rotisserie chickens (140 calories per serving) in plastic bags with handles instead of the clear plastic containers with black bottoms it currently uses in the United States, according to an apparent Costco memo that was published on Reddit this week. The memo states that the chickens will still have the "same product quality," but the new bags will be much more environmentally friendly thanks to a 75% reduction in plastic.

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The memo teased that the new packaging is "coming soon," though it didn't provide an exact launch date. However, one customer responded to the Reddit post to report that the new bags have already been rolled out at Costco's flagship warehouse near its corporate headquarters in Issaquah, Wash.

Of course, members should take these reports with a grain of salt because Costco itself hasn't confirmed the packaging change and rarely comments on these types of developments before they're implemented.

However, it wouldn't be completely unexpected if Costco were to swap its packaging since the company already uses plastic bags in some of the other countries where it operates, such as Canada.

costco rotisserie chicken
calimedia / Shutterstock

Even though the rumored packaging switch has yet to be confirmed or rolled out, the potential change is already sparking a divided response among Costco members. Some said they didn't care as long as the price and taste of the chicken itself stayed the same and praised Costco's apparent effort to cut down on plastic waste. Meanwhile, others worried that the new bags would be much messier and less convenient to use.

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"Excited for less plastic, not excited because I always seem to have those types of bags leak," one customer commented.

"I like the trays a lot better. You can open it, cut off something to eat, and then put the lid back on without making a mess and…put the rest of it back into your fridge," another wrote. "The plastic bag is just a mess waiting to happen."

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Some even suggested that the new bags could make it harder for Costco's deli workers to package the chickens after they're cooked.

"It's gonna be rough for those workers, I can't imagine it's easier to slide chickens off those big skewers into a bag than the open trays while a crowd of salivating shoppers stare at them," a Redditor commented.

Costco did not immediately respond to our queries for confirmation and comment on the alleged packaging change.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe