October 21, 2019
Costco's new processing plant to process up to 100,000 chickens daily
The new 400,000 sqft (~37,200 square metres) Lincoln Premium Poultry run Nebraska-based processing complex will supply Costco's poultry products, specifically its popular US$4.99 rotisserie chicken, reported Lincoln Journal Star.
CNN reported 100 million rotisserie chickens were sold in 2018. In the same year, Costco made US$100 billion in revenue, a large portion of that being attributed to poultry products.
The factory was established to reduce the company's reliance on traditional suppliers and govern the growth of its own birds sold in-store. In addition to the processing complex, Costco has contracted Nebraska farmers to raise its chicken.
The processing complex is mostly automated. Chickens are humanely stunned using gas, then hung up, de-feathered and cleaned. After its temperature is reduced through one of two air-chilled rooms, the second processing room prepares and packages whole chickens to specific parts such as thighs and breasts.
The production plant was initially opposed by locals as it planned to line up poultry farms across the region, but the company hopes that those concerns will be dismissed with the open house of the factory and as more poultry producers come online.
The US National Chicken Council reported Americans are estimated to consume 94 pounds (roughly 43kg) of chicken on average in 2019.
- Lincoln Journal Star