Costco Just Brought Back A Controversial Pre-Made Meal

Costco offers many food items, and there are just as many differing opinions about them. While Costco's $5 rotisserie chicken is beloved by many, not all Costco products enjoy such broad acclaim. The wholesale retailer has just put one meal back out for sale that some shoppers will pass on, while others will race to claim it.

This isn't a first for the chain; for instance, the mini raspberry cakes sowed division among Costco fans in June. Some people praised the desserts on Instagram. But others couldn't stand the frosting, which they found tasted "artificial" or "ridiculously sweet." And in March, carrot cakes returned to shelves, and so did controversy. That time, some shoppers drew the line at including raisins as an ingredient

In a similar way, people might either turn up their noses or make a beeline straight to the deli/bakery section for a meaty item with polarizing ingredients.

It's chili season again at Costco

With average temperatures starting to fall in many parts of the United States, warming meals such as this five-ingredient chili recipe are back on households' menus. Costco wants to have its shoppers covered with a ready-to-eat chili that has inspired mixed emotions.

Instagram account @Costcohotfinds pointed out that the chili was back on the shelves and even used it to make a chili dog. But the responses couldn't have sounded more different. User lulutsotsi exclaimed, "That looks yummy! I'd have it with frybread, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, olives & avocado." However, cadmattsd wrote, "Horrible ... natural flavors and processed meat,..." Several others levied criticism of how Costco prepared the chili. As annie.badgley stated, "I soooo wish they would start putting the cheese on the side."

There are other reasons why the chili isn't everyone's preferred style, though. "That's not chili. Chili doesn't have beans," insisted flashjunkie1. (This is a controversial issue for more than just Costco's chili, however, as XLNT Foods discusses.) While that's largely a matter of taste people who prefer their chili without beans (also known as Texas-style) might pass on Costco's chili for this reason. A final issue that could make it a no-go for some people is that it does include meat, which obviously takes it off the shopping list for anyone on a vegetarian or vegan diet. For some, though, the chili's return is welcome.

Is the chili worth the cost?

The Instagram account @costcohotfinds may have spotted the return of the beef chili at their nearby wholesaler, but social media users have been spotting the product across the country for months now. Beyond customers' issues with the added cheese and beans, some have been steering clear of the chili due to the price. Sure, $3.49 doesn't sound bad — but that's the cost per pound, and we all know Costco doesn't skimp on quantity.

Mother-daughter duo @floridamomof3 posted a review of the chili tub on TikTok in April. And while they had nothing but positive things to say about the taste, fellow TikTokers were turned off by the cost. One user stated "14? Yeah, I'll be shopping at Walmart." The comment received more than 600 likes. As another user wrote, "I live in the U.K., that price is so outrageous."

Many social media users also took the opportunity to reminisce about the days when chili was a staple on the warehouse chain's food court menu. When TikTok user @theeliottfamilyof7 posted about the chili, users confirmed it was tasty based on the times they indulged in some at the food court. While rumors swirl on Reddit regarding the chili and whether or not it will be added to the list of Costco food court items that may never return to the menu, opinions are still divided on whether $14 is a good price for a tub of the old classic.