You'll Be Jealous Of South Korea's Costco Bakery

If you're lucky enough to travel outside the United States frequently, and you happen to be a Costco member, you might want to drop by the local branch of your favorite big box store the next time you visit another country. While you might assume all Costcos look the same — and you'd be mostly right — it's what is sitting on the shelves that sets the different locations apart.

While Costco's housewares, clothing, and electronics sections might not look too different from those of the warehouse stores back home — in fact, one shopper told The Wall Street Journal she joined Costco Taiwan because it was easy to find the American brands she had gotten used to purchasing while living in the U.S. — it's in the food section where the differences really stand out. 

Following a visit to the Costco store in the Seoul, South Korea, neighborhood of Yangjae, for example, Insider pointed out that the fresh food section, including the deli and bakery, took up an entire floor. It was then that the writer "realized just how much American Costcos are missing." As Kate Taylor writes, not only did the Korean store carry the usual staples, like Costco's rotisserie chicken, but also tons of ready-made meals like bibimbap, too. And then there is the bakery because, as Taylor points out, "Costco's bakery is always going to be a treat." This seems to be especially true of Costco Korea.

Costco Korea's bakery has strawberry trifle, croffles, and more

Wondering what's available at the Costco South Korea bakery? According to Hunker, one Reddit user showed off a 25-count box of assorted mini danishes from bear claws to cinnamon rolls, as well as croffles, described as "a croissant-waffle hybrid...made by pressing croissant batter in a waffle maker." Costco Korea also sells French madeleines in boxes of 20, so you and your friends can enjoy as many of the little sponge cakes as you want. If you're craving something nutty, there are personal-sized walnut pies, or if you're having a special celebration, their layered citrus cake or tiramisu could be perfect for a party. 

Whatever u/Esquiline didn't cover, Instagram user @costcobuyskorea has generously added to their feed. The Costco fan's profile shows a snapshot of a luscious strawberry trifle, a simple yet elegant marble bread, and a mouthwatering collection of apple pie slices topped with rosemary.

Now, before you go off and badger your local Costco about your bakery section, know that the company works hard to make its stores relevant so it meets the needs of its local shoppers. As Costco Taiwan chief Richard Chang told The Wall Street Journal about his own market, "What we've done here is reflective of what we do in all of our international markets. We want to make it as authentic as possible, but we also want to localize," which means your nearby bakery is designed to cater to local tastes.