What Happened To Costco's Food Court Acai Bowls?

Costco's members love free lunch — or even just a cheap one. One of the perks of membership are the generous samples offered at the big box chain, which can amount to a full meal if you play your cards right. Even lunch at Costco's food courts is a pretty affordable option; there are customers who line up *after* buying their groceries just to get a bite to eat. Some customers even come to the store just for its food court, which — after many years of an open door policy — shifted to a "members only" policy in 2020.

The court's hot dogs, chicken bakes, churros, 59-cent sodas, and sundaes have proved perennial favorites. But some Costco menu items have come and gone without much explanation from the company, like Redditors' favorite turkey and provolone sandwich (not to mention the disappearance of phone orders and straws). Other items have disappeared from the food court only to return in the pre-made food section, like the somewhat-controversial chili

One item that looks like it'll never be back in Food Court Town is Costco's açai bowl. It's been discontinued. Why, oh why? To our knowledge, the company has not made any official pronouncements, so we don't know exactly why the decision was made, though it's worth noting that a large number of items disappeared during the pandemic, never to return.

A bowl without a home

The açai bowl, which was added in 2018 and discontinued in 2020, was always a bit of an outlier at Costco. Most of the food court's menu items are either cheap, inexpensive, and filling, like pizza and hot dogs, or cater to sweet tooths, like churros and soft-serve ice cream. The company was trying to expand its healthy options before the pandemic, and got on board the açai bowl bandwagon.

Compared to the usual price of açai bowls, the food court's 4.99 price tag was a bargain. Nevertheless, it was a lot pricier than the usual Costco fare. The bowl also suffered from a bit of an identity crisis: was it a full meal, or just a treat — and was it actually healthy, or just faking it? Despite the fresh fruit on offer, the sugar content (estimated to be between 30 and 41 grams) wasn't impressing nutritionists. Mixed reviews on taste didn't help, either: Business Insider called it "the worst thing on the menu." 

While the Costco açai bowl had its detractors, others say it's the discontinued item they miss the most. If you're in the latter group, you may find consolation in the pre-made açai bowls available in Costco's frozen section. Even if you decide they don't hit quite the same, they're certainly an affordable experiment.