Costco(l), Man talking(c), Chicken(r)

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock @biorhythmic.wellness/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I could either pay $10 for 2 chickens or $17 and have to cook it’: Costco shopper questions price tag of 2-chicken deal

'Costco math isn’t mathing.'


Phil West


Posted on Apr 30, 2024   Updated on Apr 30, 2024, 9:55 am CDT

A Costco customer is questioning the pricing of two chickens that you have to cook yourself for $17. That’s because the big box store offers its famed rotisserie chickens for $5 each.

The video documenting the price difference came from TikToker biorhythmic.wellness (@biorhythmic.wellness) and received more than 853,000 views since going up on April 21.

With a caption that declares, “Costco math isn’t mathing,” he begins by showing a display of uncooked packaged chickens—the kind you would take home and either prepare as you see fit or freeze to use later.

“Two chickens, $17,” he assesses, pointing to a price tag of $16.99 for an offering from Costco’s store brand Kirkland.

Then, he moves to the rotisserie chicken area, where each goes for $4.99. “Fully cooked, each chicken will be $5. So I can either pay $10 or $17 and have to cook it.”

That leads him to conclude, “Uhhh, what?”

The rotisserie chicken from Costco is a TikTok topic that’s certainly been trafficked before. Past Daily Dot stories on the subject include a woman who demonstrated how to debone a whole rotisserie chicken within a minute (with the aid of a plastic bag), a man so upset with an alleged decision to change the packaging from a box to a bag that he’s stocking up on chickens, and someone theorizing that the highest-pressure job in the world is making Costco rotisserie chickens for its many devotees—some of whom line up to await the day’s first birds.

TikTok has inspired other publications as well: A food writer from The Kitchn tested out the minute bag trick and proclaimed it a success. “To be honest, I was skeptical that the meat would really pull away from the bones with as much ease as advertised,” she shared, “but I was able to shred an entire rotisserie chicken in one minute flat. That’s a task that would normally take 10 minutes or more.”

@biorhythmic.wellness Costco math isn’t mathing 🤪 #costcobuys #chicken ♬ original sound – biorhythmic.wellness

Commenters to the video expressed their thoughts about the creator’s price comparison.

“I think the cooked ones are a loss leader pricing strategy,” one opined, echoing several others with similar theories.

One person said, keying off that, “I came in for a chicken yesterday and spent $505.”

“The cooked ones have ingredients that some people don’t want,” another pointed out.

That comment led to a debate based on the assertion that the chickens contain “a saline (saltwater) solution containing salt, water, sugar, & some preservatives.”

A recent Mashed article noted that its 11 ingredients includes sodium phosphate, “used to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria as well as to add texture and also to work as an emulsifier (something that helps to uniformly disperse the flavorings and other ingredients throughout the chicken),” before warning it has been linked to chronic kidney disease.

Someone else advised, keying off another popular Costco deal of legend, “Just get the hotdog and drink for $1.50.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to the creator via TikTok comment and to Costco via online media form.

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*First Published: Apr 30, 2024, 6:00 pm CDT