Customers upset after Costco changes rotisserie chicken

Some Costco customers are calling it a “foul” after the retailer changed the packaging of its very popular rotisserie chicken.

Previously, rotisserie chicken was packaged in plastic “clamshell” containers. Now, in what the warehouse club says is an environmentally friendly move, rotisserie chicken is sold in plastic food service bags.

The packaging change begins in March 2024 and is gradually rolled out across the United States, Consumer Reports magazine reports.

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In the June 2024 edition of its magazine, Costco Connections, Costco reported that the packaging switch would save millions of pounds of plastic each year.

“You may have noticed a classic Costco item in a different container: Kirkland Signature™ Seasoned Rotisserie Chicken now comes in a bag. Based on projected rotisserie chicken sales in the U.S. in 2024, the new packaging will save an estimated 17 million pounds of plastic each year,” Costco said.

Rotisserie Chicken in New Packaging

The new packaging for Costco's rotisserie chicken is angering some longtime consumers. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images/Getty Images)

“The bags also take up less space to transport; one pallet of new bags is equivalent to five pallets of old packaging, so Costco could take 1,000 of its freight trucks off the road each year. Using fewer transportation vehicles would eliminate more than 4,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually,” he added.

Many on social media have expressed their displeasure with the new packaging, saying it is inferior to the previous hard plastic design.

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“This was a really rare Costco ale,” business writer Trung Phan wrote on Twitter known as X on June 22.

He said these bags leak too much, are not suitable for storing leftovers, and customers “can't pick out good chickens.”

Costco Chicken in Old Packaging

Costco chickens were previously sold in a rigid “clamshell” type container. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Another user on X complained that the bag was leaking.

“Your new roast chicken bag is leaking so much. By the time I got home the whole trunk was soaked. Both bags were leaking,” x user @rengle83 said.

Over on Reddit, the r/Costco subreddit has been filled with posts about the bags arriving in stores across the United States over the past few months.

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“New rotisserie chicken packaging looks leak prone,” Reddit user “loveofspreadsheets” posted on March 28, along with a photo of a leaking rotisserie chicken bag on a store shelf.

Several Reddit users reported that the new bags are not recyclable in their cities, while the rigid clamshell containers are recyclable.

Costco Exterior

Costco is the first company to go from $0 billion to $3 billion in sales in less than six years. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images/Getty Images)

“Unfortunately these bags are not eligible for curbside recycling, at least in my area. As a result, most of them will end up in landfill,” said Reddit user “bonsry,” adding that this change in packaging is “a total turn-off in my opinion.”

“Plastic bags are not recyclable in my city. But we can recycle hard plastic,” said user “trodatawhey”


Costco's rotisserie chicken has been priced at $4.99 at all warehouses for decades, and it's one of the most popular items sold at the chain.

In January 2024, Costco CEO Ron Vacris said the company sold 137 million rotisserie chickens in 2023, 20 million more than 2022's sales numbers.

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FOX Business has contacted Costco for comment.

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