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Inflation drives up prices on almost everything except rotisserie chicken: NPR

Prices in grocery stores are going up, up, up. But there’s one item you can still buy for a bargain: rotisserie chicken.


Inflation has driven up food prices, but apparently not the price of a rotisserie chicken, at least not at Costco.


A hot pre-cooked chicken is only $4.99. So what’s going on? Ernest Baskin thinks he knows. He is at Saint-Joseph University and a specialist in consumer psychology.

ERNEST BASKIN: Roast chicken is exactly a call strategy.

INSKEEP: The loss leader, when stores offer a low price to get you in.

BASKIN: As a consumer, you are looking for deals. And so you look around. And you see, wow, Costco is offering a great deal on rotisserie chicken. I’m going to Costco to get my flight on rotisserie chicken. And so just due to the fact that you have now entered the store, Costco has fulfilled its mission.

FADEL: Some stores lose money on rotisserie chicken, hoping you’ll buy other things while you’re at it.

INSKEEP: Costco opened its own poultry plant in Nebraska just to keep the price of chicken low for this purpose. And they put the chickens in the back of the store, in front of rows and rows of other enticing items.

BASKIN: The store really wants you to walk around the store, see what other items the store has, and ideally consider putting them in your cart or putting them in your cart.

FADEL: In other words, keep your eyes on that chicken. Don’t be tempted by – ooh – a coffee variety pack.


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