Costco Shoppers Aren't Concerned With A New Change To A Fan-Favorite

When it comes to many grocery store food products, the container plays an essential role. Everyone can think of at least one product whose appeal is inextricably attached to its packaging. How long it keeps the food fresh, how easily it can be stored, whether it is microwave-safe, or even how enjoyable it makes the consumer experience, for instance, are factors that make the container a critical component of a product's value. What would Capri Sun juice be without its pouch or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese without its individual serving cup? If the container of a popular item changes, fans of that item are bound to make a fuss, like the SunChips compostable bag fiasco of 2010 (via The Huffington Post). 

The typical outrage was almost the case for a renowned product sold at Costco when the store switched its packaging (via Reddit). Surprisingly, though, regular consumers of that product were more understanding than the usual patterns would predict.

The big change and its little backlash

In May 2022, a Costco subreddit member posted a photo of Costco's store-made macaroni and cheese dish inside a plastic container. The caption read "mac and cheese switched from aluminum pan to plastic that you can't heat up. Absurd." 

Despite the user's clear discontent with this change, hardly any users jumped on the complaining bandwagon. There was a fair share of commenters who were also upset about the switch, but for varying reasons, from concerns over plastic polluting the environment to liking to keep the aluminum containers for reuse. Some were quick to point fingers at systemic complications rather than Costco's own shortcomings. Standout comments included, "It's a national supply chain issue. Our vendors cannot keep up with our needs," and, "It's almost as if there's a global aluminum shortage ..." Others took the post as insinuating that the new container was less convenient than its oven-safe predecessor, and left responses like "We get these plastic trays in the UK. I just flip or scoop the contents into an IKEA dish," and, "Just put it in some Pyrex and call it good. Why are people so lazy!" 

All in all, there is more to the story than what consumers can see on the cheesy, creamy surface. As for the fate of the product, it does not seem that this switch will lead to its demise any time soon. It seems this may not be joining the list of biggest scandals to ever hit Costco.