Big Data: The cost of Costco’s rotisserie chicken

A Costco rotisserie chicken.
A Costco rotisserie chicken.Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe


That’s the price of a Costco rotisserie chicken, and it’s been that way since 2009. The chickens have become a cult item — 91 million were sold in 2018 and a Facebook page for the rotisserie chicken has more than 16,000 followers.

To keep the price of the chickens so low, Costco has taken an unusual step for a large retailer: It opened its own poultry complex in Fremont, Neb. According to CNN, the complex cost $450 million and will allow Costco to control the farm to store production process of its beloved rotisserie chicken. The plant will process about 100 million chickens a year — 40 percent of Costco’s annual chicken needs.


Nebraska is not known for chicken production and the new plant has sparked backlash from environmentalists and farmers’ advocates, according to CNN and local news reports. These groups are concerned about water contamination from runoff, ammonia from chicken feces, and other potential health risks arising from the production plant and poultry barns.

Abbi Matheson can be reached at abbi.matheson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AbbiMatheson