13 Cult-Favorite Costco Foods That Deserve The Massive Hype
It’s no secret that the internet loves Costco. And when you take into account its members-only policy and crazy bargain prices, you could argue that it is the most unique grocer in the world. The deals Costco offers, as well as their business model’s built-in exclusivity, inspires loyalty, and dare I say worship among its members. Costco-holics’ loyalty is unparalleled to other brands, with 90% of Costco members renewing their membership each year. Think about it: A lot of Americans are more loyal to Costco than they are to their spouses. It’s an exclusive club that inspires such die-hard loyalty that people are practically still rioting in the streets at the announcement that one of Costco’s food court items is being discontinued.
To true Costco fans, going to Costco is an event, a journey where a surprise — often in the form of a sample — awaits them. Naturally, when Costco members discover a product they really love, their passion inspires them to shout about it from the rooftops (aka, the internet). Whether the love is shown on an internet forum like Reddit or a well-reputed publication like Consumer Reports, one thing’s for sure: People can’t get enough of Costco foods.
With this in mind, let’s review thirteen of the most popular cult-favorite food items that you can buy exclusively at Costco.
1. Kirkland Maple Syrup
Not only is this 100% pure maple syrup the “cheapest I’ve ever seen,” according to Reddit user caitie_did, it also scores top points with Consumer Reports, outranking the most expensive maple syrup option. It’s been praised for its “caramelized, slight vanilla, woody flavors” with “hint[s] of molasses.” Sounds sweet!
2. Vanilla Extract
Those of us who love to bake know that vanilla extract prices are enough to keep even the most dedicated baker away from the kitchen. Costco, however, keeps their prices down and their sizes big — we’re talking 16 oz big. According to Reddit user Pepper-Fox, “the big bottle will last you many years and is top quality.” I’m pre-heating the oven as I speak…
3. Rotisserie Chicken
The Queen Mother of All Lazy Meals, and at an unbeatable price! In the words of Reddit user beyoncesbaseballbat: “You can’t beat $5 for a whole bird. I like to pick all the meat off and store it in a container in the fridge so I just have to grab a handful to add to whatever I’m having for dinner.” Now that’s the sort of meal prep we can get behind!
4. Kirkland Vodka
Usually when it comes to hit-or-miss spirits like vodka, the buyer has to choose between quality or quantity (you often can’t get both at a reasonable price). Unless you shop at Costco, that is. Costco’s Kirkland-brand vodka gets points for its “smooth and clear” flavor that is also one of the cheapest on the market, according to Reddit user breadprincess.
5. Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzel Nuggets
These savory snacks are so addictive that some shoppers think they should come with a warning label: “My husband and I banned the PB pretzels because we inhale them when they’re around! So good.” (Zombie_Dick_Cheney, Reddit)
There’s a reason the phrase is “bring home the bacon” — because usually, this trendy cut of meat is worth its weight in gold. But according to Instagram user thecostcoconnoisseur, you can get three pounds of Thick Sliced Hickory Smoked Kirkland bacon for $10.89. Three pounds! You’d be hard-pressed to find a deal like that anywhere else. And as if you need another reason to buy it, Consumer Reports raves about this favorite, complimenting its “balance of fat and meat flavors” that includes a “hint of sweetness.”
7. Kirkland Basil Pesto
When you look up “cult favorite” in the dictionary, next to it you will find a picture of Kirkland Basil Pesto. This staple is one of those products that makes converts out of all who taste it: “I could eat that stuff straight out of the jar with a spoon,” says Reddit’s ecatt. Other users recommend putting it on grilled cheese. Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my mouth…
8. Coconut Oil
Ahh, coconut oil. The magic elixir that has been putting a strain on millenials’ bank accounts since the beginning of…millennials having bank accounts. Luckily, Costco sells a whopping 84 oz container of the stuff for an absolute steal of $19.99. Considering that’s how much I usually pay for my average-sized jar, I’d say that price is definitely worth the hype.
9. USDA Prime Beef
When you think of Costco, do the words “fine dining” come to mind? If you answered no, you’d be surprised: The Costco meat market is a little-known secret of experienced chefs everywhere. World-renowned cuisiniers like Walter Apfelbaum and the late Julia Child bought their steak from Costco. The former refers to it as “some of the most beautiful prime beef I’ve seen out of the restaurant industry.” Tell that to your snobby friend who will only shop at Whole Foods!
10. Kirkland Super Premium Vanilla Ice Cream
This rich and creamy vanilla ice cream is classified “super premium” by the dairy industry because of its high-quality ingredients and its overall density. That explains why it outranked brands such as Breyers and Baskin-Robbins in Consumer Reports’ taste tests. According to Reddit’s Blackaos123, “Compared to Breyers…Kirkland Signature is more like a custard. Also when you leave it out, [it] will pretty much become more like a frosty or soft serve rather than [a] liquid.”
11. Kirkland Protein Bars
Kirkland Protein bars are favorites of the Costco member who is both health and money-conscious. These bars are known for being a great dupe of the Quest protein bars that are a cult favorite in their own right. However, Kirkland’s price point is much more affordable, and it also touts nutritional facts that are almost identical to its pricey competitor. In fact, Kirkland’s actually packs 21g of protein per bar in comparison to Quest’s 20g. No wonder Costco-holics, like Reddit’s ManCakes, rave that these bars have “changed [their] life.”
12. Kirkland Prosecco
On the Reddit “Costco Favorites” thread, this Kirkland wine was mentioned a total of eight times, making it a definite fan favorite. According to Zombie_Dick_Cheney on Reddit, it’s “dirt cheap and great for mimosas or on its own.” So you and your friends can indulge in a #bottomlessmimosabrunch without breaking the bank.
13. Food Court Pizza
And last but not least, ladies and gentlemen, the Grand Dame of all Costco Cult Favorites. The subject of blog posts, love letters, and comment threads ad infinitum. The very reason so many people drag their butts to the grocery store at all. It is the cherry on top of the Costco sundae, the Sundance Kid to Costco’s Butch Cassidy. The Costco Food Court pizza slice. This $1.99 cult favorite deserves a post all to itself, but will have to put up with sharing a list with its comrades (however inferior they may be). Made with an automated machine that ensures every pie is made to perfection, according to long-time employee Kaiwen Zhao, Costco “never shortcut[s] the ingredients” and makes sure “everything is measured to a standard.” That might explain why Costco is one of the largest (and most beloved) pizza chains in America.
We suddenly have the desire to buy everything in bulk.