Why Costco Stopped Selling Its Brisket Sandwich

Writer Hollis Johnson once described the Costco BBQ Beef Brisket sandwich as "one of the best sandwiches I've ever had," (via Business Insider). Sold in a white cardboard ring, this significantly sized sandwich was highly-priced for the Costco food menu ($4.99 as reported in 2018) yet still highly affordable for that delicious barbecue treat of slow-cooked brisket. A two-handed sandwich dripped with smokey meats and creamy-sweet coleslaw rewarded shoppers with both its size and taste in a white bread bun. 

A true favorite, this sandwich was already offered in limited locations, but as of 2020, it appeared to be discontinued. "The brisket was taken away quite a while ago from the stores I've been to along the east coast... I'm incredibly sad too :( " shares one fan in spring of 2020, (via Reddit). Another fan laments, "Costco may giveth and Costco may taketh away." Costco themselves haven't said why they stopped selling the meaty sandwich favorite, but we think it could be for one of these reasons. 

Cost is often a factor in menu choices

Foodies have noted that at the time, the $4.99 brisket sandwich was already the most expensive thing on the food court menu. One Costco worker shares on Reddit, "I know this is an unpopular opinion, but as one of the people who used to work in the food court, I say good riddance. That sandwich was more of a pain in the butt to prep and go through all the procedures than making 50 chocolate nut-covered ice cream bars in a row." Factoring in the cost of labor, as well as the cost of food, this might be a reason Costco decided to give the sandwich the ax. 

There's also the idea that instead of offering this full-time, Costco may have planned to bring this sandwich back seasonally. A Reddit insider reports that "at some locations, Brisket will come back with the Chili seasonally(winter), and al pastor (summer)." Unfortunately, this was reported around March 2020, and we all know what happened a few weeks later. COVID restrictions may well have ended the popular brisket sandwich for good. As of May 21st, 2020, Costco had severely limited its food court offerings during the pandemic to simply sodas, hot dogs, and pizza slices (via EatThis).

If the purpose of the brisket was to attract more indoor diners, we're going to guess that plan (like most of 2020) has been canceled. 

A healthier Costco menu is the new norm

Yet another reason for the disappearance of the Costco BBQ Beef Brisket sandwich may simply be an evolution of the Costco brand. The sandwich was fatty and carby  and delicious, but it wasn't exactly healthy. The reported nutrition info for this item was listed at 710 calories and 33 grams of fat per serving (via Costco Insider). For those of you who are wondering, that amounts to about half the recommended daily fat intake for the average adult (via FDA). 

While tasters report additional disappointments, like the scandalous disappearance of the Polish dog from the food court menu, Costco chief Craig Jelinek points to new healthier items like açai fruit bowls, organic burgers, and the plant-based al pastor protein salad. It's already been shown that Costco can have a known product with a healthier set of ingredients, such as Costco Oreos, so the idea that the nutrition of the brisket sandwich helped lead to its demise wouldn't surprise us at all. 

It's possible that all these factors led to the BBQ beef brisket disappearing from Costco menus near you. All we know for sure is that it's gone.