Shoppers Say These 12 Costco Products Have Shrunk Recently

The term "shrinkflation" has been floating around the internet for a while, where it's often used by consumers regarding the food industry. A play on the word inflation, shrinkflation refers to companies surreptitiously making products smaller while keeping prices the same — meaning the customer gets much less bang for their buck. For example, a shopper whose favorite brand of tortilla chips has been affected by shrinkflation might notice upon opening the product that their bag is only half full when it was previously filled to the top. In another example, a shopper's favorite round cake from their local grocery bakery department may suddenly fail to reach the edges of its plastic container the way it once did. These changes often come with little warning, say many consumers, and with little — if any — adjustment to the price tag.

These noticeable and oftentimes disappointing instances of food shrinkage seem to be affecting more and more products from popular stores. According to some annoyed consumers, this includes select items from celebrated bulk wholesaler Costco. From diminishing croissants to dwindling bagels to slimmed-down rotisserie chickens, here are 12 Costco products that shoppers claim have started to shrink.

1. Croissants

In 2020, which was obviously a year of upset for people across the globe, Costco was said to have pulled the rug out from under its pandemic-affected customers when it appeared to change one of its most popular bakery products. The chain's croissants, which had previously been round, were made straight and the bakery began using a different recipe. This change was highly debated at the time. Now, there seems to be yet another debate brewing regarding Costco's newer croissant.

This time, rather than a shape change, the product's alteration involves its size, customers claim. Shoppers have noticed a recent shrinking of the straight, flaky bakery treats, and have taken to platforms such as Facebook and Reddit to share the observation. In a thread under r/Costco titled, "The croissants are getting smaller," one user shared a photo comparing two croissants, sold a month apart. While the majority of commenters acknowledged the difference in length, many remained skeptical as to whether or not shrinkflation was actually occurring. 

However, in a separate thread asking posters if anyone had noticed shrinkflation affecting Costco items, an alleged bakery employee admitted that the croissants — which are shipped in frozen — are indeed reducing in size. The worker went so far as to suggest the decrease was a staggering 50%.

2. Frozen blueberries

Kirkland's Organic Frozen Blueberries are any oatmeal or smoothie lover's dream. A gigantic bag of frozen, juicy berries ready to be scooped into a steaming breakfast bowl or blender, the product allows the taste and freshness of the harvested fruit to be preserved for months on end. However, some customers have been questioning their loyalty to this previously beloved fruity Costco product based on what many claim to be a surprising size change.

Shoppers on Reddit are claiming shrinkflation on the Kirkland blueberries across multiple threads, claiming the bag very obviously got smaller while the price remained the same. "I appreciate that i can bend and fold and squash them more easily into the freezer," commented one user, "but would have appreciated a lower price for it too." Despite the number of customers sharing this opinion, the newly established size of the Costco blueberry bag holds firm — at least for now. 

3. Kit Kat bars

Candy bars shrinking down to become mere shadows of their former selves has been an issue reported by consumers since 2020, and the fan-favorite wafer-and-chocolate Kit Kat bars made by Nestle are no exception. One recent thread made by a Costco shopper on Reddit provides a shocking side-by-side visual of two of the candy bars from the wholesaler's bulk boxes, making shrinkflation in the case of Kit Kat bars hard to deny.

The post, titled "we've been buying these in a 50 pack from Costco for around 4 years and today they felt weird in my hand," displays a photo comparison of a Kit Kat candy bar from an older Costco bulk pack, and one from a newer box. The difference in size is evident, given that the two are laid side-by-side. It's not just Costco, however. Aussie snackers have noticed the same problem, prompting Nestle director of corporate affairs Margaret Stuart to admit to 3AW that rising prices have pushed the dwindling size. 

Back on Reddit, one of the commenters in the Costco discussion suggested the original poster return the product and make their reasons as to why known. If enough buyers complain, they argued, the company will be forced to reevaluate the low-key shrinkage. Could this technique work to restore the coveted chocolate bars to their original size and glory? Only time will tell.

4. Bagels

For quite a few months, Kirkland's signature bagels have been at the center of multiple Reddit discussions — and not all of them have been glowing reviews. The reason for the product's mention? Its vanishing center hole and, according to some commenters, the evidence this submits for its shrinking size. According to handfuls of shoppers, the coveted Costco bagels, which currently come in the flavors Plain, Parmesan, Everything, Toasted Sesame, and Cinnamon, seem to be growing smaller.

On a Reddit thread discussing shrinkflation at the wholesaler, one user jokingly asked whether their hand size had changed over the years or the Kirkland bagels. Multiple users confirmed that they, too, had noticed the same. This is hardly the only time the topic has been breached. Reddit threads have also alleged that "Bagels are noticeably smaller" or asked if "Smaller bagels at the bakery is a long term thing or one off?" One Redditor even alleged that the bagels have shrunk some 30% in size. With so many customer claims, it's difficult to ignore this one.

5. Chicken bakes

Sometimes it feels impossible to look anywhere and find something COVID-19 didn't drastically alter. Along with so many other operations within the food service industry, the food court at Costco wasn't immune to pandemic-related changes — just look at its chicken bake. These bread-covered poultry-and-cheese delicacies were briefly discontinued in 2020 during the height of the pandemic but were reintroduced relatively quickly, much to the relief of consumers. When they were brought back, however, shoppers weren't blind to what many decried as noticeable changes in taste, quality ... and size.

According to an alleged Costco employee writing on Reddit, the food court's beloved chicken bakes were once made in-house but now are outsourced and brought in frozen. This production change is reportedly behind the product's shorter length, which shoppers seem to consider noticeable. "Look at an old picture of the chicken bake vs. now," said another user. Regardless, some admit to holding a fondness for the newer-style chicken bakes. Whether or not the related reduction in size is a good thing will be up to you.

6. Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars

The vanilla, chocolate, and almond flavors found in these frozen treats are welcome and refreshing on a hot day, so stocking up on the 15-count boxes of Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars from Costco can throw a little chilled sweetness in your summer. But according to recent shoppers, the refreshing bars included in the Haagen Dazs pack from the wholesaler won't provide quite as large a snack as they did before.

A customer on Reddit made a recent claim that shrinkflation had hit their beloved ice cream bar with a photo of a similar Kirkland-branded ice cream bar product compared against its Häagen-Dazs counterpart. "Anyone notice the Haagan Das bars have shrunk?" reads the title of the r/Costco post – the assumption, of course, being that these two bars had previously been the same size. One responding consumer (who claimed to have been eating the Häagen-Dazs bars for three decades) claimed that the bars from back in the day had around 400 calories a piece — a far cry from the 270 listed on the current label. If what this user says is true, fewer calories is compelling evidence for a slimmer ice cream bar. Of course, Häagen-Dazs has long been known for downsizing its products at least as far back as 2009, when the company openly admitted to the practice.

7. Salsa

Costco carries several salsas that are perfect for chip-dipping, but recent changes made to the wholesaler's Kirkland Signature salsa have amounted to a smaller ounce count, some shoppers report. On a recent shrinkflation-themed post on Reddit, one consumer claimed the salsa had gone from 54-ounce tubs to 48 ounces – but the price had remained the same. Though the user did not specify which brand they were purchasing, it may have been the Garden Fresh Organic Jack's salsa, currently the only salsa available in 48-ounce containers from Costco. 

On another thread, a poster brought up the Kirkland-branded Organic Salsa, which was swapped from plastic containers to glass ones around a year ago. Unfortunately, it also reportedly went from 38 ounces to 35 ounces, as evidenced in the side-by-side photo presented by the original poster.

While the consumer called sneaky shrinkflation on the salsa, other commenters focused on the positive. Some pointed out the fact that glass is endlessly recyclable, arguing that if the new packaging was better for the Earth in the long run, a smaller ounce count was a small price to pay. We suppose we can appreciate this outlook ... even if it means our last few chips are bare.

8. Granola bars

Kirkland has various brands of granola bars under its belt, including chewy, chocolate-dipped, and protein-filled options. But recently, some of these most popular Costco granola bars have raised eyebrows among their fan bases. Some shoppers on Reddit are calling out both the Kirkland Soft and Chewy Granola Bars and the Kirkland Signature Chewy Protein Bars for having fallen victim to shrinkflation.

One of the most vehement of these threads, titled "The Kirkland Soft and Chewy Granola Bars are a shadow of their former selves," calls the newest editions of the oat-and-chocolate-chip bars subpar. One commenter tacked onto this, claiming that they were also a fraction of the size they used to be — and this isn't the only bar being called out for the same offense among consumers. 

In another thread under r/CostcoCanada, another poster questioned whether or not shrinkflation had come to the Kirkland protein granola bars, citing larger air pockets in the packaging. Some agreed, while one skeptical commenter pointed out that the nutrition facts on the labels remained the same and made the claim of shrinkflation much weaker. What the reality is, we can't say. However, suspicion regarding Costco granola bar shrinkage appears to be alive and well.

9. Kirkland bacon

There's nothing quite like the smell of savory bacon frying up in a pan before Saturday morning breakfast, and Costco has long been considered a great place to snatch large packs of everyone's favorite cured pork slices. However, quality of the store's Kirkland Signature bacon has been questionable according to some shoppers on online forums.

Some consumers writing on Reddit swear the recent Costco bacon slices have much more fat than they used to. And what happens to the fat on bacon while it cooks? That's right — it shrinks, creating folded-over pieces that appear much smaller than more meaty slices typically do. One shopper wrote: "I noticed this with their Kirkland branded bacon.. The pieces are much smaller than before when cooked, I think they've been leaving more fat on than actual protein." 

We suppose that if you happen to have an affinity for ultra-fatty bacon, this change might not necessarily be a bad thing. However, if you're hoping for a longer, more protein-heavy slice, you might consider the new allegedly shrunken Costco bacon to be inferior when compared to the Kirkland slices of old. In any case, we wish you satisfaction during your next Saturday morning bacon feast. 

10. Rotisserie chickens

Seasoned rotisserie chickens are one of Costco's many claims to fame, to the point where it arguably has a serious cult following amongst shoppers. Part of the appeal is that consumers have become accustomed to a decent-sized bird. Lately, though, not everyone has had such a positive experience with the retailer's poultry ... and many shoppers are pinning their woes on claims of smaller chickens.

Over on platforms like Reddit and TikTok, shoppers have recently claimed that their rotisserie chickens seem to be quite smaller. The responses to these shrinkflation accusations range greatly. Those who agree speculate that perhaps the issue that is less growth hormone is supplied to the birds, that fewer fillers are being used, or that sourcing issues could be at the heart of the problem. Some that deny noticing any changes, however, and maintain that the poultry in their warehouses are just as large as ever. As one Redditor joked: "Not at my Costco. They have terradactyls [sic] in those containers." 

It could be that this is a location-specific or regional phenomenon. Wherever you're shopping, we hope that the Costco chickens under the warmer of your local warehouse remain as hearty as they ever were.

11. Muffins

Costco muffins are one of the most popular pastries at the wholesaler, and small is not often a word used to describe these colossal breakfast treats — at least, it hasn't been in the past. More recently, however, some of the beloved muffins are being called out by some consumers for possibly being yet another example of shrinkflation.

"I swear Costco muffins have shrunk in size. Price didn't shrink, though," posted a disappointed shopper on X, filing one more complaint in a long list of similar admissions across many online platforms. However, these opinion are far from universal. In fact, the discussion of whether or not Costco's muffins are shrinking can get downright controversial. Not all consumers see the size change, and in some instances, become defensive over the claim. "Costco offers eye exams on site," replied one cheeky user on a Reddit post suggesting that the muffins have fallen prey to shrinkflation. "They seem to be the same size as before to me." We can understand the rush to defend these particular sweet treats. They are still particularly scrumptious, whether or not they become smaller recently.

12. Chocolate cakes

Costco customers everywhere mourned when the famous, richly-flavored All American Chocolate Cake was discontinued after the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. A glimmer of hope was reignited, however, when a similar-looking round cake was subtly reintroduced to the bakery in many Costco locations sometime in 2023. Though customers rushed to the wholesaler hoping for a nostalgic taste of the chocolate pastry they missed, many were disheartened to find that what was waiting for them was not, in fact, the classic All American creation of the past.

The new bakery cake, a round, rich chocolate cake that is filled with a chocolate mouse filling, not only had a different recipe and flavor than its predecessor — it had a different overall size. Unlike the All American, which was often lauded for its height and impressive denseness, the chocolate mousse quite literally fell short, at least according to some Costco shoppers. 

"PSA, the chocolate cake is NOT the old chocolate cake," reads the title of one thread on Reddit, under which consumers lament the disappointing taste and comparatively small size of the newest cake. Is that unfortunate? Sure, but can we really declare shrinkflation on an entirely new product? We aren't sure if it's a fair comparison, given the differences in ingredients and baking techniques, but we hope that you're able to enjoy this mousse-filled delicacy — even if it doesn't literally measure up to the All American Chocolate Cake of yore.