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Costco's Chicken Is Garnering Major Complaints from Shoppers

The Kirkland Signature chicken thighs and breasts are the latest Costco items to face customer scrutiny.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

Earlier this month, Costco's famous rotisserie chickens faced major scrutiny after a shopper discovered green-tinged meat inside one of the roasted birds. Now, customers are also sounding off against two of the retailer's other poultry offerings due to some reported packaging and textural issues.

A Costco member ignited a heated discussion this week after taking to Reddit to complain about the warehouse club's Kirkland Signature boneless skinless chicken thighs. For context, each pack of Costco chicken thighs is divided into several sealed portions that are connected by plastic borders. So whenever a customer wants to grab just one of the sealed portions, which contain a couple of thighs apiece, they have to use scissors to separate it from the rest of the pack.

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The Redditor heavily criticized the chicken thigh packaging design in the new post.

"Everything about these things baffles the mind," they wrote. "There's no perforation, no dotted lines, just about two [millimeters] of sealed plastic between each blister pack that if you aren't cutting so perfectly, you're going to slice one open and all the juice will spill out over your counter."

The excess juice in Costco's chicken thigh packs was also a key source of the Redditor's ire.

"Why is there so much liquid in these packs? Each of the [six-packs] of chicken has like a quarter cup of slimy chicken juice in it that no other chicken from any other grocery store has," they continued. "The thighs are just slimy and awful and the liquid is a serious problem every time. This time, the thighs are also weirdly spongy, and just everything about this is a 0/10 strikeout."

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The Redditor, as it turns out, was far from alone in their frustration with Costco's chicken thigh packaging.

Kirkland Signature Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

"I cooked them last night and told my wife we have to buy them elsewhere [because] the juice was making me sick," a fellow Costco shopper commented on the post.

"I quit buying them because I was so grossed out by opening them. Just nasty," another wrote.

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Some noted that freezing the thighs before cutting apart the portions makes it easier to avoid accidentally puncturing the packages and spilling chicken juice everywhere. However, the issues have spurred some to swear off Costco chicken thighs entirely.

"I go to a local butcher for my meat and poultry. Costco chicken thighs are gross," a Redditor wrote.

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Costco's Kirkland Signature chicken breasts also came under fire this week—but for a different reason. In a separate Reddit post, another shopper complained that Costco's chicken breasts often have an unpleasant "woody" (i.e. tough and fibrous) texture. The post has received more than 200 comments from other members, many of whom complained of experiencing the same issue.

"I would never buy chicken breasts at Costco, no matter the price. It's all woody," one wrote.

"I tried to buy Costco chicken breast a handful of times and I've always been dissatisfied, which is rare. It's either woody or it will have a really bad smell when I open it up. I've resorted to just buying chicken elsewhere," another said.

To be clear, Costco has a myriad of meats that have won the approval of shoppers and even professional chefs. But the recent surge of chicken complaints indicates that Costco may have some room for improvement when it comes to its poultry offerings.

Costco did not immediately respond to our queries for comment on the complaints.

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