Trying to find a chicken in a can…

Back in 2009, (whoa! that’s 7 years ago) I saw something that would change the way I looked at the world forever.
It was this:


In case you’re not sure what you’re looking at.. it’s a chicken. In a can!

I became obsessed with it… so much so, that I embarked upon a fools errand to find one in the UK.

I decided to phone my local supermarkets to see if they stocked such a thing…
At the time, I transcribed all the conversations and shared them on Facebook with my friends. Recently Facebook decided to remind me about them, so I though I’d share them here for posterity.

This is how it went.


Lidl has just opened up a new store near to us and it was full of weird and wonderful things from deepest Europe. I felt confident…
LIDL: Uh.. Hello Lidl

ME: Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me if you’ve got something in stock?

LIDL: we’ve sold out of this weeks special, so don’t ask for that

ME: OK, I won’t…but it was a food item

LIDL: umm, what?

ME: I was looking for a chicken in a can

LIDL: we do chickens and chicken breasts

ME: Yeah, I know, I was specifically after a whole chicken in a can

LIDL: I’ll have to check ..
(in background: there is someone on phone who wants a special chicken in a can, I think it might be chinese …. inaudible mumurs)

ME: hello……

LIDL: We do have some chicken in white wine sauce

ME: Is it a whole chicken?

LIDL: What do you mean whole…

ME: Is it an entire chicken or just breasts or chunks…

LIDL: It’s just bits of chicken …. in sauce

ME: No that’s not it, I need a WHOLE chicken in a can, no sauce, nothing, just a chicken. It’s quite a big can, do you have anything like that.

LIDL: Do you mean SPAM? … is that chicken….?

ME: No, thats not chicken.

LIDL: No we don’t then sorry, try Sainsburys, they have lots of tins

ME: OK, thanks..



I couldn’t get through to next on the list was Sainsburys, I never held out much hope here, but it was worth a try…

…after 4 attempts finally got through…

SAINSBURYS: Good morning, thankyou for calling Sainsburys. How can I help?

ME: Hi, I was wondering if you had a certain item in stock…. Read more

SAINSBURYS: Do you know which department?

ME: It’s a food ite…(interupted)

SAINSBURYS:: …Fresh, frozen, convenience or speciality?

ME: It comes in a can.

SAINSBURYS: You mean a tin?

ME: Is there a difference?

SAINSBURYS: pause … that’s a convenience food. I’ll put you through to someone who can help

ME: Actually, it might be a speciality item.

SAINSBURYS: No, if it’s in a tin it’ll be in convenience.

[Put on hold before I could respond.]

SAINSBURYS: Hello, **** speaking, how can I help

ME: I was wondering if you are able to tell me if something is in stock

SAINSBURYS: Sure, what is it?

ME: I’m looking for a chicken in a can

SAINSBURYS: What type of chicken?

ME: Just A chicken, a whole chicken

SAINSBURYS: (laughing) did you say a whole chicken? How do they fit it into the tin?

ME: It’s a big tin

SAINSBURYS: No … no we don’t have that.

ME: Do you think you’ll get them in?

SAINSBURYS: Is this for real, do they really make chicken in tins?

ME: yep

SAINSBURYS: Well we’re not going to be getting anything before Christmas, we don’t generally get new food lines until after all the Christmas stuff is gone.

ME: You don’t think you’d get them in as part of the Christmas range?

SAINSBURYS: No… (laughing) maybe if they did Turkeys in tins

ME: ugh.. that sounds gross.


SAINSBURYS: If there’s nothing else I can help with..

ME: NO, thanks for your time.

SAINSBURYS: Thank you for contacting Sainsburys today. Have a good day



My final chance, the nearest Aldi was a fair drive away… but I was getting desperate

ALDI: Good Afternoon, thankyou for calling Aldi. you’re through to *******, how can I help you today?

ME: Hello, I was wondering if you could tell me if you have something in stock

ALDI: This is just a call centre, I’m afraid I don’t have access to specific information like that.

ME: Oh, I thought I was calling the T********* store

ALDI: No, all the store telephone numbers divert to here

ME: OK, no worries. Could you put me through?

ALDI: Through to where?

ME: … the T********* store

ALDI: No, the stores do not take telephone calls

ME: Oh, how about the S****** M****** store…?

ALDI: NO… NONE of the stores take telephone calls… they don’t have telephones.

ME: Really? But don’t they need to make calls sometimes…?

ALDI: I don’t know, but they probably use email.

ME: [pause] So how am I supposed to find out if you sell something.

ALDI: You could visit the store, our staff would be happy to help.

ME: [grrrr] Well, I live quite far away and I don’t want to make a special journey if they don’t have it.

ALDI: Have you tried the website, you could buy online.

ME: You can’t buy online on your website…

ALDI: Pause… I’m not sure how I can help you.

ME: Surely you have a list of products you sell?


ME: There must be someone you can ask?


ME: OK, I guess I’ll have to go somewhere else..

ALDI: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

ME: No


I had high hopes for Aldi, as they sometimes have weird things… but it was pretty disastrous I didn’t even get to ask them about the chicken.

So to this day I still haven’t tried a ‘Chicken in a can’… but to be honest, that might be a good thing!


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