Who Supplies Costco's $4.99 Rotisserie Chickens?

You know it, you love it. You've bought it as part of a larger meal or even just to eat on its own. It's the timeless $4.99 rotisserie chicken from Costco. The deli aisle staple has been on Costco shelves at or near that price for years now, and it remains a popular choice as a ready-to-go meal for Costco's clientele. And it's clear to see why. A juicy, plump, warm chicken is enough to appeal to just about any customer, especially since Costco follows strict rotisserie chicken display rules in stores to ensure it's as fresh as possible.


Much like its beloved $1.50 hot dog, Costco has managed to keep prices low and quality high on this crowd favorite. But how? Well, like the Costco hot dog before it, Costco has taken control of the means of producing its chickens. This means that the retailer can keep production costs relatively low while also maintaining complete control over the quality of the product, ensuring that you get the best chicken for the best price.

The Costco chicken takeover

Costco may be in charge of its rotisserie chicken production line now, but that was not always the case. The wholesale company used to source its chickens from a company by the name of Tyson and Foster Farms, but there was reportedly a falling-out of sorts between the two corporate entities. Afterward, it seems that Costco decided to take matters into its own hands and set up the means to farm chickens itself.


In 2019, Costco set up its own chicken production facility in Fremont, Nebraska. Alongside the establishment of this facility, the grocer also hired Lincoln Premium Poultry to oversee production. All of this is to essentially say that a third party (Lincoln Premium Poultry) manages the day-to-day operations of the farm, from raising chicks to shipping raw chickens to Costco's stores, but the Costco company has full control over every step of the production process. This means that Costco can set the quality standard as high as it would like while also having the final say in production efficiency. This helps to keep quality high and prices low, since everything is done "in house."

The chicken supply chain

Supplying Costco stores with whole chickens is no small feat. Lincoln Premium Poultry have set a whopping 500,000 chickens per month as its target in providing chickens to the wholesaler. With figures like that, it's no surprise that Costco opted to take full control of its rotisserie chicken production process. And considering how utilitarian its rotisserie chickens are (even the ones that don't sell find a second purpose in other Costco brand food products), consistency is key.


So next time you find yourself gravitating to the meat section in your Costco treasure hunt, you can do so with the comfort of knowing that each rotisserie chicken is handled entirely within the bounds of the Costco company. You can also take solace in knowing that this means the prices will likely always stay relatively low for such a pleasing product. Even if Costco's new choice of packaging is causing a bit of a stir among customers, rest assured that the product inside the package is just as delicious.