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Costco’s Rotisserie Chicken Sparks Controversy: What Do You Think?



Clear Facts

  • Costco, the highly-regarded retailer recognized for its rotisserie chickens, sold 137 million of these items in 2023.
  • In March, Costco transitioned from hard clamshell containers to plastic bags for rotisserie chicken packaging, aiming for a 75% reduction in plastic use and promoting environmental benefits.
  • The new packaging has triggered mixed reactions from consumers, many of whom have cited issues with leaks and spills leading to a less satisfactory shopping experience.

Costco, a well-respected bulk retailer, commands a strong following for its rotisserie chickens, celebrated for their outstanding taste, reasonable pricing, and versatility. However, a recent packaging change for these beloved items has stirred some controversy among customers.

In March, Costco switched from the traditional hard clamshell containers to plastic bags for its rotisserie chickens. Information regarding this change was shared on Reddit, stating that it was part of the company’s environmental campaign, with a goal of reducing plastic use by 75%.

The new packages elicited a divided response among customers, some expressing disappointment while others lauded Costco’s efforts towards reducing plastic usage. However, the recent trend shows customer reactions skewing towards the negative.

The main grievance regarding the new packaging is its lack of robustness. One customer shared their dissatisfaction on Reddit, reporting that the bags leaked and caused a spill of chicken juice in their vehicle. This post sparked a string of similar complaints, as over 500 comments poured in from other Costco customers and employees recounting their own unfavorable experiences with the new packaging.

Several customers pointed out that the bags often felt greasy or slick, making for a messier shopping experience.

One customer noted that handling the greasy bags left no option for cleaning up afterward. They wrote, “My main concern is that the bags are always incredibly greasy and no wipes, towels, or paper towels are available in the area to clean one’s hands. This not only affects those who buy the chicken, but the cart handles have also become noticeably dirtier since the switch to bags.”

Some Costco employees have also expressed dissatisfaction with the new packaging. A deli worker reported, “As a deli worker, I dislike the bags. It takes more time to place the chickens inside the bags compared to the containers, and it’s messier.”


Despite the concerns, certain shoppers have found ways to manage the packaging inconvenience, such as using double bags or carrying a separate container in their vehicles for transporting the chickens. However, some customers have chosen to bypass the product entirely due to the packaging issues. One shopper shared, “The bags are terrible. I have started buying my rotisserie chicken elsewhere where they still use containers.”

Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.




  1. JR

    June 10, 2024 at 6:45 am

    Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken. Customer satisfaction FIRST. Change it back or you will lose business.

  2. Javicho

    June 10, 2024 at 6:48 am

    Get even, double bag. I carry a small cooler in the car.
    Living creatures in the oceans are eating plastic waste.

  3. Robert Cymraeg

    June 10, 2024 at 6:49 am

    Why are you not cooking your chicken at home? Best environmental result and no greaase etc. Probably lower cost also. I seem to recall warnings regarding potential safety issues with Costco and other rotisserie chickens not that long ago.

  4. Sally Bergmoser

    June 10, 2024 at 7:36 am

    Use the bags like Publix does .theirs work

  5. susan rich

    June 10, 2024 at 8:25 am

    Thank you for saving the planet. I will buy extra the help.

  6. Sharon L Alexander

    June 10, 2024 at 9:33 am

    These bags are awful. I always bought multiple chickens in one trip to feed my cats. I have, thankfully, kept a former form that I transfer my chicken to. They need to go back to the previous container; it is so much better.

  7. Jack Bridge

    June 10, 2024 at 10:21 am

    I agree, plastic bags are terrible, messy – return to original clamshell container – My wife hates plastic bags, and doesn’t want me to bring them home anymore!! I am a long time shopper at Costco – understand plastic issue, but may loose me as a chicken customer if Costco keeps using plastic bags.

  8. August Campagna

    June 10, 2024 at 12:16 pm

    Will stop buying chicken after purchasing them for over 6 years. Bags are too messy and need to revert back to the old containers before I buy another chicken

  9. Lei

    June 10, 2024 at 12:45 pm

    Why doesn’t Costco double bag the chickens? I don’t care that much. Groceries are always messy. And Costco’s chickens are about double the size of other stores. The chickens could be taken to the front of the store and put in the boxes there, instead of at the back of the store. Definitely provide wet wipes. Try going to Japan. They provide wet wipes after every restaurant meal – sometimes the wet wipes are cloth and even warmed up for the customer! These makes the doors and tables cleaner, ultimately. Dry paper is not going to clean your hands very well.

  10. Steve Anderson

    June 10, 2024 at 1:39 pm

    I do not like the plastic bags. When I get home, taking the chicken out of the bags is a mess. When I want to put the chicken in the refrigerator I have to find a big enough container to put it in. I wish that I had saved one of their original containers. Please bring them back.

  11. S. Hall

    June 11, 2024 at 12:48 pm

    I’m concerned where these chickens are coming from. Are they hatched and raised in the USA or CHINA?This would totally end my purchase of the product. Plastic bags are not safe, they give off vapors and other things into the product especially when heat is involved.
    ANd since I’m asked for my opinion, I don’t like seeing “MADE IN CHINA” all over the dammed Warehouse! I’d like to see the “oh so rare” MADE IN THE USA about the store as I would probably buy more often.

  12. Irene Mount

    June 11, 2024 at 10:19 pm

    When looking at saving plastic how does double bagging lead to savings on plastic.
    We are only 2 people and I liked the fact that I could serve 1/2 chicken and keep other half in the container.
    Also I liked to use the jellied juices in the bottom of container when I used the chicken in a soup.
    STOPPED buying your chickens as do not like the bags. They are a mess.

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