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Why is rotisserie chicken cheaper than raw chicken at the grocery store?

Why is rotisserie chicken cheaper than raw chicken at the grocery store?
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If you do the grocery shopping for your household then you probably noticed some price trend. For example, the price of a rotisserie chicken is almost always lower than a raw chicken. How does that make sense? With the cost of labor and cooking, how is a rotisserie chicken cheaper than a raw whole chicken? 

Well, it seems like there are two main reasons. First, most stores sell their rotisserie chicken for a low price to attract more customers. For example, Costco even lose money on their rotisserie chickens! They believe that customers will spend more money in the store when they come to get that cheap rotisserie chicken. 

Don Fitzgerald, VP of merchandising at the Kroger-owned grocery chain Mariano’s told the Wall Street Journal : “If they get a chicken, a salad, and maybe they pick up a bottle of wine—now we’re really talking.” 

The other reason is a bit less exciting. According to this online thread on Reddit, user rabidbatattack said: 

"I used to work in sales in the grocery industry but not in the deli department but another grocery salesperson shared the brilliance behind the wonderroast rotisseries for smaller grocery stores:

You sell chickens with a sell by date. If you don't sell the chickens, then you put them on the rotisserie and get another day or two out of the sell date. If you don't sell the rotisserie chicken, then you make chicken salad for the deli case and get another 2-4 days out of those same chickens while following all of the health and sanitation guidelines while offering great choices at each stage with reduced loss to garbage." 

However, you should not be too worried about that information.  According to the USDA the sell-by and best-by dates are only intended “to help the purchaser to know the time limit to purchase or use the product at its best quality. It is not a safety date." And with over 900 million rotisserie chickens sold last year, according to the National Chicken Council, it seems like people are still enjoying their meal!

While rotisserie chickens might not be the freshest meat you will get at the grocery store, they are not dangerous for consumption. The USDA recommends : “When purchasing fully cooked rotisserie or fast food chicken, be sure it is hot at the time of purchase. Use it within 2 hours or cut it into several pieces and refrigerate in shallow, covered containers. Eat within 3 to 4 days, either cold or reheated to 165 °F (73.9 °C). It is safe to freeze ready-prepared chicken. For best quality, flavor, and texture, use it within 4 months.”

Do you buy chicken rotisserie at the grocery store? 

Source: My Recipes · Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

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