Going to Costco for the free food samples is one of my favorite pastimes, so when they stopped giving them out back in March, I was like, “Nooooo….”
That was right before all the coronavirus chaos hit. Costco slowly started experimenting with bringing samples back in June, and now they’ve returned — but they’re not like you remember them.
Samples have returned to Costco, but they’re dry and packaged.
Don’t expect to grab some warm mini-pizzas or a ramekin of soup; to be more COVID-compliant, samples are shelf-stable and individually wrapped.
You also can’t sample in-store.
Part of the strategy behind in-store sampling at Costco has been letting people taste products so they can make an impulse purchase. It’s why it’s one of the sneaky ways Costco tricks you into spending more money.
But now, Costco isn’t letting customers eat the samples in-store. You gotta take them with you. And if you like them, make a mental note to buy whatever it is next time — or just run back in and buy it.
No telling if/when Costco will bring back the ‘old’ samples.
Costco hasn’t indicated whether they’ll ever return to the old form of sampling — but with the COVID-19 pandemic still very much underway, that’s not super surprising.
Costco free samples won’t be the only changes — expect a new food court experience as well.
To keep customers and employees safe, Costco food courts will only be serving food for takeout only.
Soda machines are closed and if you want condiments, you’ll have to ask.