Why Some Costco Shoppers Think There's Been A Loss In Quality

Costco has changed its product lineup over the years, and like any retailer, the store has evolved with the times. Recently, however, some former fans have become fed up with some of these changes from the wholesale club. Redditor BelgianBoys explained this frustration in a rant: "Is it just me or is Costco's quality going downhill? For instance, the new chicken in the chicken alfredo is straight garbage. The old chicken was bomb. The same can be said about the quick cook bacon and stuffed peppers," (via Reddit). It's disappointing when a favorite food no longer tastes right, but sometimes this can be luck of the draw.

Another Reddit user, GrrreatFrostedFlakes, replied, "It's mostly just you. Costco has always had a mixed bag of winners and losers. Likely there's many who love it. I love some of the prepared meals and am not a huge fan of others. That's normal." But others agree with the original poster, like katholique_boi69 who said, "I feel you. There are more hits than misses from my view but certainly agree that getting a mediocre item especially in the deli or bakery leaves a bad taste in your mouth no pun intended."

So what's the truth? Is Costco changing things up?

Costco has been affected by supply disruptions

There may be some validity to the posters' comments that Costco's recipes have changed. Whether for better or worse is likely a matter of taste. While Costco has made record sales during the 2020 pandemic, with online grocery sales up 300 percent, the bulk retailer has also hit multiple supply chain walls and logistics issues while trying to keep shelves stocked (via S&P Global Market Intelligence). As of December 2020, CFO Richard Galanti said there were changes in the company's product stock: "We've gone into it on fundamental items from the home like housewares, TVs, electronics, even added items like barbecues and pressure washers and furniture items," Galanti said. "A little less, we had cut back a little bit on seasonal items like holiday decorations and gift wrap and some of the candy and food gift baskets. In some instances, we've already sold through those inventories."

It's entirely possible that Costco has been forced to make some product switches. But Redditor CeeGeeWhy hypothesizes that product changes are just part of the game: "As the price of stuff goes up, the pressure to maintain prices for the customers means that shortcuts or lesser quality has to be made to maintain the quantity expected. This has been happening for years now."

So has Costco changed some of its recipes? While it can't be verified, it's not out of the question. Are these changes for the worse? That seems to be a matter of opinion.