This Costco Chicken Shortage Sign Is Worrying Reddit

On Monday, November 1, a photo was posted to the Costco subreddit that apparently has some on Reddit worried — and with good reason. "Sorry for the inconvenience but we are out of rotisserie chickens today," read the sign posted by user @MBZ321, via Reddit. You might call this a "new" development in the ongoing global supply chain crisis that has resulted from pandemic-related labor shortages, which may not be rectified before 2023, according to Oil Price. However, as supermarket shelves have been laid increasingly bare and prices of groceries heading increasingly skyward, the crisis has been hitting closer and closer to home. Now, it appears that Costco's beloved and highly economical rotisserie chickens may be the next casualty.

Per CBS News, chicken suppliers first announced a burgeoning chicken shortage in May. In late October, USA Today reported that things have only been getting worse. Although chicken prices began to soar (high demand and low supply equals higher prices), according to the Wall Street Journal, Costco has yet to increase the price of its rotisserie chickens. At $4.99 per chicken, a price that has not changed in more than a dozen years, according to Fox Business, Costco's rotisserie chickens are and have remained the very definition of a supermarket "loss-leader." Of course, this has done nothing to curb demand for the beloved item. So, the next logical question would be: What is going to happen to the price of Costco's rotisserie chicken?

The potential run on chickens has begun

When Reddit user @MBZ321 posted the stark photo of an empty case where the warehouse giant usually keeps its stock of $4.99 rotisserie chickens — along with a sign confirming that there would be no more rotisserie chickens that day — Redditors immediately caught on to what is actually at stake here. It's not just that rotisserie chickens may be in short supply going forward — at least until the global supply chain crisis has been rectified — but also that the loss-leader-level price of Costco's rotisserie chickens may be in peril.

"Joke's on you," replied Redditor @NickyNinetimes. "I bought out the whole inventory of three different Costco locations. I now have 174 rotisserie chickens in my garage and in two weeks when the panic sets in I'm going to be selling them for $40 each on eBay." 

"You might be able to swing $100 per chicken if it gets bad enough," replied @Peelboy, who clearly got the joke, which has a disturbing potential grain of truth. While, clearly, NickyNinetimes was just joshing, the fact remains that if Costco does not raise its rotisserie chicken prices, the "black market" may well do so of its own volition. We'll be keeping our eyes "peeled" for how this unwelcome development ends up playing out.