PRICE CHOPPER PLUCKS HONOR FOR ITS ROTISSERIE CHICKEN

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A rare honor for a supermarket food-service operation went to Price Chopper Supermarkets, Schenectady, N.Y., when the chain's rotisserie chicken was picked as the best of six competitors by the Times Union, a newspaper here.Price Chopper's bird was selected as the best in a field that included two other Albany supermarkets -- Grand Union, which is based in Wayne, N.J., and a local

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A rare honor for a supermarket food-service operation went to Price Chopper Supermarkets, Schenectady, N.Y., when the chain's rotisserie chicken was picked as the best of six competitors by the Times Union, a newspaper here.

Price Chopper's bird was selected as the best in a field that included two other Albany supermarkets -- Grand Union, which is based in Wayne, N.J., and a local Shop N' Save -- as well as Boston Market, a local specialty food store and a local barbecue restaurant.

The results of the informal survey of Times Union staffers rated Price Chopper's chicken four out of a possible five birds. The products from specialty store Cowan & Lobel and Tex's BBQ earned three-and-a-half birds; while Boston Market, Grand Union and Shop N' Save were given two birds.

"Obviously, we were just thrilled," said Joanne Gage, vice president of public affairs and consumer service for Price Chopper. "Especially after you realize we were complimented on our value, quality, flavor and appearance, and compare that to the comments on Boston Market.

"The fact is that a newspaper would never have thought of including supermarket chicken in a taste test five years ago. It shows we've come a long way."

Judges wrote that the Price Chopper chicken was "tender, moist, nicely flavored skin." The Grand Union and Shop N' Save chickens were repeatedly referred to as "greasy" and "salty." Boston Market's chicken was called "bland."

Price Chopper's chicken was also the least expensive, at $4.31 for about a 2-pound roaster.