Are Rotisserie Chickens Really Cheaper?

Are Rotisserie Chickens Really Cheaper?

Ariel Knutson
Aug 16, 2016
(Image credit: Trombax/Shutterstock)

Picking up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store is one of the easiest ways to get dinner on the table, but is it actually cheaper? If you were to compare the prices between a rotisserie chicken and fresh whole chickens, you might be surprised to see that they are similar in price, with rotisserie chicken sometimes even cheaper. Why is that the case?

There have been some claims that rotisserie chickens are the ones that were about to go bad at the grocery store, but that's not the whole story. In a fascinating look at this debate, Priceonomics looks at seven different grocery stores to see how this plays out, and what they discovered is that rotisserie chickens just appear to be cheaper, when in fact they are not.

Priceonmonics looked at seven different grocery stores across California and discovered that "The per-chicken price favors the deli counter, but the per-pound price favors the refrigerator case." Rotisserie chickens tend to be two to two and a half pounds, and fresh chickens are more like four and a half. Even though broiler chickens tend to lose about 20 percent of their weight after being cooked, they still are bigger than the rotisserie chickens you tend to find at grocery stores.

(Image credit: Priceonomics)

The only two grocery stores that break these findings are Costco and Smart & Final, where the rotisserie chickens do appear to be cheaper than the fresh chickens.

→ Read more: Are Rotisserie Chickens a Bargain? from Priceonomics

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