Someone Criticized Costco's Rotisserie Chicken And TikTok Is Not Pleased

Few things are as dear to Costco members as the store's $4.99 rotisserie chicken. So when FlavCity, a healthy recipe blog run by Food Network winner Bobby Parrish, tried to show the issues he has with the chicken, people were distinctly unimpressed.

Yesterday, FlavCity uploaded a video to TikTok. In it, Parrish explains that he has managed to snag the last of the incredibly popular rotisserie chickens at Costco. However, people may not want to deal with the brilliant deal. Problems he raised included the squalid conditions in which the chickens were raised, the GMOs involved, and the seaweed emulsifier used in the preparation process. So, he concludes, even though it is a good deal, you might want to pick up the organic chicken instead.

Of the 2.8 million views the video accrued, a large amount disagreed. Strongly. "Ohhhh noooooo," one pretended to wail. "The $4.99 Costco chicken isn't organicccccc what will I doooo?"

Another sardonic response reads "I only eat chicken that had a gluten free diet, did yoga every morning, had 40 mins of meditation every sunset and it had a 750 credit score."

The overall consensus can be summed up with a third comment that simply stated "Still buying it." People like the fact that the rotisserie chicken is cheap, easy, and tasty. Everything else is not worthy of consideration.

The price is right

The biggest reason people responded the way they did is that the price of the rotisserie chicken has made it a cult item. "So what," one asked in the video's comments. "Some of us don't have the $$ to buy an organic chicken."

The low price of the chicken is to make it serve as a loss leader. That means Costco makes a bet that the deal will lure in members who will suddenly remember all of the other things they have to buy. 

In fact, Costco considers this low cost as an essential part of their business model. In a 2015 piece for The Seattle Times, Costco's chief financial officer Richard Galanti described how they were always willing to eat the losses that result from keeping the chicken price low. "That's what we do for a living," he concluded.

But for watchers of the company, the chicken price is a key indicator of Costco's health. In June, Costco was pressured to assure Business Insider that despite supply chain issues, the price would remain down. But even with such vocal assurances, the Costco subreddit fretted in January over the possibility that Costco might have to raise its chicken prices due to inflation. On Reddit, one self-professed deli manager at Costco assuaged the fears of the chicken growing more expensive: "Membership cost will go up, not the Rotisserie. I'm the manager in the deli for my store. There's no chance those prices change."