If you can’t resist those rotisserie chickens at the grocery store, you’re not alone

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Flickr | terren in Virginia

Sometimes you just need a quick, satisfying dinner for the whole family. Oh, and affordable would be nice too. For those times, picking up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery is a go-to for many busy families across the country.

Ready-to-eat rotisserie chickens first picked up steam in grocery stores in the 1990s, after seeing the popularity and rapid expansion of Boston Market restaurants nationwide, and those succulent birds continue to be a best-selling item today. In fact, according to Costco and market-research firm Nielsen, Americans bought a staggering 625 million rotisserie chickens at supermarkets in 2017.

Besides their convenience and taste, one reason that rotisserie chickens continue to enjoy enduring popularity is their low price point. For example, Costco’s rotisserie chickens famously go for just $4.99,  making them an affordable alternative to takeout or delivery.

In fact, rotisserie chickens are often more inexpensive than raw chickens, a fact that might make you scratch your head in wonder. It turns out that the rotisserie chicken you buy may be a way of stores salvaging a raw chicken that was about to expire. At such a low cost, how do grocer’s make any profit on those delicious birds? Apparently it’s not necessarily the chickens themselves that brings in the big bucks for retailers.

“If they get a chicken, a salad and maybe they pick up a bottle of wine—now we’re really talking,” Don Fitzgerald, vice president of merchandising at Mariano’s, a Chicago grocery chain that Kroger bought in 2015, told The Wall Street Journal.

Another factor that makes rotisserie chickens so popular with consumers is their versatility. Tiffany King of Lexington, Kentucky told The Wall Street Journal she buys a couple chickens at a time and uses their meat for enchiladas and soups. “I will buy sometimes up to three and make that my project for the day,” King said. “But if you have teenage boys, you better get it in the freezer quickly.”

The internet abounds with creative ideas for repurposing rotisserie chicken meat—from pot pie to chili to salad.

Anyone else hungry for a rotisserie chicken right about now?

[h/t The Wall Street Journal]




About the Author

Kate Streit

Kate Streit lives in Chicago. She enjoys stand-up comedy, mystery novels, memoirs, summer and pumpkin spice anything. More.

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