Costco broke ground on its Fremont, Neb.-based Lincoln Premium Poultry facility in 2016. The project is scheduled for completion in September 2019. The complex will include a 250,000-square-foot processing plant, a 75,000-square-foot hatchery and a feed mill and comes with a $300 million price tag. Lincoln Premium represents the first time a retailer has assumed the risks associated with meat production — from farm to fork.
Costco’s rotisserie chickens have a become a major driver of customer traffic at its warehouse stores, CoBank said, and in-house production is expected to save the company 10 to 35c per bird. Costco’s sales of rotisserie chicken have experienced 8% growth annually since 2010, which is three times the growth rate of total poultry consumption in the U.S. During this time, the company has maintained a $4.99-per-chicken price point, according to CoBank.