Why You Should Never Buy A Rotisserie Chicken From Walmart

Rotisserie chicken is a big moneymaker for supermarkets across the U.S. — hungry shoppers took home a total of 625 million in 2017 alone, and plenty of those rotisserie chickens had to come from Walmart. After all, the one-stop shop carries everything from household items to clothing to fresh produce, and holds the number one spot in the grocery world (via Chain Storage Age). When it comes to Walmart's rotisserie chicken, though, you might want to think twice before you grab another one.

The low price tag on Walmart's rotisserie chicken can be enticing, but for $4.98 you'll be tossing less than two pounds of chicken into your cart — 1 pound, 13 ounces to be exact. Why settle for less when for the same price you can pick up a larger bird at Sam's Club? Since Sam's Club is owned by Walmart (via Tampa Bay Times), you might think you're getting the same product — but you're not. According to Eat This, Not That!, you'll actually get a lot more meat for your money. When it comes to size, Sam's Club isn't the only wholesale club competing for your rotisserie chicken business. If you're a card-carrying Costco member, the warehouse store also blows Walmart's rotisserie chicken out of the water when it comes to size. For only a penny more, you can snag a spit-roasted bird that weighs in at a full three pounds.

Aside from value, flavor is another reason to take your money elsewhere. Reviews on the Walmart product page are hit or miss. While some customers say they've "never been disappointed [...] it's always very flavorful and juicy," others say their chicken is either overcooked or undercooked.

Costco consistently ranks the highest in a long line of rotisserie chicken taste tests. Taste of Home ranked Costco's "super juicy and flavorful" rotisserie chicken tops, while Walmart came in dead last. Costco also won top honors from Eat This, Not That!, with Walmart again coming in last. Reviewers noted that the Walmart "rotisserie chicken was very fatty, and had too much pepper on the skin," and said it was "bone thin." Snack Girl's thorough assessment of Walmart's rotisserie chicken concluded that it tasted like "burnt, salty meat."

Though Costco's rotisserie chicken does tend to trounce Walmart when it comes to flavor, they don't always edge out other competitors. One Redditor proclaimed, "I used to be a Sam's member now I'm a Costco member. I can tell you one thing for a fact. Sam's rotisserie chickens crush Costco's rotisserie chickens every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Other than that I'm a Costco guy."

There is one category where Walmart beats out its competitors without question, though it's not likely one they're proud of — sodium content. For a 3-ounce serving of its rotisserie chicken, Walmart comes in at 690 milligrams of sodium. That's a bit higher than Sam's Club at 550 milligrams, and Costco has even less at 460 milligrams. For a lower sodium option, head to Whole Foods. Though they definitely won't win the value category, as their birds sell for up to $10, when it comes to sodium, they're near the top (or bottom, as the case may be). The rotisserie chickens from Whole Foods contain just 280 milligrams of sodium per one-quarter of a bird, which is about 3 ounces. It's Publix, though, that puts its competitors to shame, as their rotisserie chicken comes out to just over 200 milligrams for the same size serving. That's almost three-and-a-half times less sodium than in the chicken you'll find at Walmart.

When it comes to size, value, and flavor, Walmart just doesn't stack up. Whole Foods and Publix are obviously the places to turn if you're looking for less sodium. Wholesale clubs like Sam's Club and Costco deliver larger birds for the same price, and consistently earn rave reviews from taste testers. While it might not be worth getting a membership strictly for the sake of buying your weekly rotisserie chicken, it's certainly a perk if you've already got one. 

As tempting as they may be, instead of in your cart, Walmart's rotisserie chicken should be added to the long list of items to stay away from the next time you head to the superstore.