What Costco Fans Hate Most About The Rotisserie Chicken In A Bag

Costco rotisserie chicken in bag
Costco rotisserie chicken in bag - Smith Collection/gado/Getty Images

Of all of the deliciously prepared food options at Costco, the straight-off-the-spit rotisserie chickens are no doubt among its most beloved. Not only are they juicy, tender, and ready to eat, but best of all, they're priced at a wallet-friendly $4.99, despite inflation. Considering all that, it's no wonder the grocery giant sold more than 137 million rotisserie chickens globally in 2023 alone, as revealed during the company's 2024 shareholder meeting.

There's no question whether Costco customers love the store's signature seasoned birds. But when it comes to its newly redesigned packaging, well, that's another story. Since March of this year, the retailer has begun to sell its rotisserie chicken in soft plastic bags instead of its former hard-shelled plastic containers at locations throughout the United States, and shoppers have been quick to complain about its messy, leak-prone design.

Kicking off an entire thread of grievances, Redditor u/Bozerks wrote, "Chicken juice spilled all over the trunk of our car. These new bags leak!!" The thread has since garnered nearly 600 responses, with many commenters also bemoaning the bags' greasy exteriors. "The bags were slick with juice on the display...so my hands were then covered in grease...Putting them on the belt for checkout got chicken grease on that, too," one user lamented. Another wrote that, as a deli worker, they also disliked the bags as it takes longer to pack the chicken and makes the whole process a lot messier.

Read more: 14 Popular Chain Grocery Stores For Meat, Ranked Worst To Best

The New Packaging's Flaws May Defeat Their Purpose

Costco fresh rotisserie chickens
Costco fresh rotisserie chickens - calimedia/Shutterstock

Shoppers have suggested solving the issue by snagging additional plastic bags from the meat section and simply double-bagging the chicken to contain any seeping grease or, as Reddit puts it, "chicken juice." Ironically enough, such a solution seems to defeat the purported purpose of Costco's packaging swap in the first place.

According to signage displayed at some of the store's locations, the soft bags are in fact meant to serve as a more eco-friendly alternative to the hard clamshell containers. Per Costco's messaging, they use 75% less plastic and save over 17 million pounds of resin each year. The new bags are also estimated to reduce carbon emissions by 4,000 metric tons, with the company claiming that they will require 1,000 fewer trucks for deliveries (via Packaging Dive). While that all sounds great in theory, having to use extra bags and resources to prevent leakage certainly isn't ideal in terms of long-term sustainability.

Since the new packaging hasn't rolled out at every U.S. Costco outpost just yet, there's still hope that the chain will be able to tackle and remedy the leaky design. For one thing, the rotisserie bags have been used at Costco locations in Canada for about a year now, and don't seem to be having the same leak problem. As one Canadian customer wrote on Reddit in response to the seeping bags, "I've literally never seen any of the shelves with stains like this. So likely whatever the issue is can be fixed."

Read the original article on Tasting Table.