Why That Rotisserie Chicken Is So Cheap

Stores wisely cook up birds about to hit their expiration date: Megan McArdle

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 25, 2014 11:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – Those who like chicken might have noticed a seemingly weird quirk in the grocery store: It's generally cheaper to buy a fully cooked rotisserie chicken than to buy a raw chicken and prepare it yourself at home, writes Megan McArdle at Bloomberg View. Cooking food yourself is typically cheaper, so why the exception here? McArdle cites a post at KCET that explains what's going on: Supermarkets use chickens that are about to hit their sell-by expiration date for those rotisseries. In fact, they do it not just with chicken but with many of the offerings in the prepared-food department.

Underhanded? No, writes McArdle. It's actually kind of brilliant. Instead of taking a loss on the still-fine food, the stores cook it up and serve it hot. "This is the sort of thing that no one talks about when they talk about innovation—and yet, it’s a major way in which our economy has become more efficient over the last few decades," she writes. The practice benefits both the store and the consumer, and it reduces spoilage to boot. Click for her full post.

  (Shutterstock)
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