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Costco Officially Rolling Out Major Rotisserie Chicken Change—And Shoppers Are Divided

Those $4.99 birds are legendary at Costco—and shoppers have a lot to say about the new change.

Earlier this month, then-unconfirmed reports began emerging that Costco planned to make a major change to the packaging for its famous $4.99 rotisserie chickens. That major change is now officially being rolled out in Costco warehouses—and it's sparking a fiercely divided reaction from customers.

In mid-March, an apparent internal memo shared on Reddit in a now-deleted post claimed that Costco planned to start serving its rotisserie chickens (140 calories per serving) in plastic bags instead of the clear plastic containers it has long used in the United States. The memo indicated that the new bags would be more environmentally friendly thanks to a 75% reduction in plastic, but said the iconic roasted birds would still have the "same product quality."

 What a Costco Employee Wishes Shoppers Knew About the Rotisserie Chickens

Costco did not respond to our queries for confirmation and comment on the change when the rumors first emerged. However, a customer just spotted the new bagged chickens at a Costco warehouse in Shoreline, Wash., this week and shared the news with fellow members on Reddit.

"My local Costco updated the rotisserie chicken packaging. Tastes the same," the customer wrote. They included a photo of the new packaging, which features handles and a clear panel to show the chicken inside.

Another Redditor reported earlier in March that the bags were already in use at Costco's flagship warehouse near its corporate headquarters in Issaquah, Wash., though they didn't share any photos of the new packaging.

Bagged rotisserie chickens are common at other retailers, but the switch has been garnering a wide array of responses from shoppers online. The most recent Reddit post has racked up nearly 200 comments alone.

Some members were delighted over the change, applauding Costco's effort to cut down on plastic. Many also noted that the bags aren't as hard to carry, store, and discard as the former hard plastic containers.

"Much easier to dispose of, the plastic containers took too much effort to clean and took up too much space," one Redditor commented on the post.

costco rotisserie chicken
calimedia / Shutterstock
Rotisserie Chicken (Per 3-oz Serving):
Calories: 140
Fat: 7 g (Saturated Fat: 2.5 g)
Sodium: 460 mg
Carbs: 0 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g)
Protein: 19 g

Another vocal cohort of shoppers was decidedly less enthused about the new packaging. Some complained that the bags made it more difficult to find the largest available chickens since they previously used the containers to gauge the size of the birds.

"NOOOOOOOOO! Now I can't tell which one is biggest by seeing which bird touches the top of the container," a shopper commented.

 I Tried 3 Grocery Store Rotisserie Chickens & One Bird Rules the Roost

Other critics wondered if the bags would make it harder for the already busy deli workers to package the chickens after they're cooked. Some also complained that the new packaging is less convenient for those who want to cut off a small portion, since they might have to remove the chickens from the bags entirely just to do so.

"I hate this packaging. Makes it much harder to pick at the chicken throughout the week," a Redditor lamented.

Because the new packaging is already inspiring a wildly diverse mixture of responses, shoppers may have to experience the rotisserie chicken bags for themselves to truly make up their minds on the change. While Costco hasn't confirmed whether the new bags are coming to stores nationwide right now, customers should keep an eye out for their potential debut at their local warehouses in the near future.

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