Is Costco Having A Chocolate Chip Shortage?

Change is inevitable, but it's not always welcome — especially when it's happening at the grocery store you rely on for weekly food shopping. These days, Costco is one of many grocery chains experiencing changes due to global factors such as the pandemic, supply chain snafus, inflation, and labor woes (via Pew Research Center). For some shoppers, what's particularly noticeable amid these issues is a shortage of favorite food items. While Costco is known for stocking seemingly everything under the sun in large amounts — and the company has recently experienced a 25% net income increase despite inflation — this doesn't make the retailer immune to supply chain problems.

If you've been into Costco lately, you may have noticed a lack of chocolate chip muffins, which some believe is due to a possible chocolate chip shortage. While you could always make them yourself with a copycat Costco chocolate chip muffin recipe found online, you may prefer the convenience of picking up your favorite treat from the store. Missing their go-to Costco bakery item, Redditors are speculating on why the chain's muffins are so tough to come by these days.

Will the double chocolate chip muffin return to Costco?

"NO MORE Costco Bakery Double Chocolate Chip Muffins!!...They said something about a chocolate shortage so I hope it is temporary," one Reddit user recently alerted their fellow r/Costco readers. The reason for the chain's apparent lack of chocolate chips seems unclear. 

Much like the predictions of the end of days by 2012, the end-is-nigh theory for chocolate has been popping up for some time, explains Ecole Chocolat. This talk is confusing: One moment, there are claims that cocoa crops have reduced due to climate conditions, and the next, it's announced that good weather has resulted in better crops and an increase in product (via International Cocoa Organization). 

Thankfully for chocolate fans, Costco doesn't appear to be in low supply of all chocolate items — just the chocolate chips used in its muffins. While one Reddit user suggested that the lack of chocolate chips was due to a salmonella outbreak at the manufacturer, there is no evidence to support this claim. A different Redditor claiming to be a Costco employee assured users that the muffin issue is not so alarming: "We are just experiencing a shortage of the chocolate chips from our suppliers. Once they get back to normal capacity, we should be making them again," they said. 

Still, it's clear from some Redditors' words that the muffin shortage has been a big hit to their shopping. "Members ask me about double chocolate chip muffins 10 times a day, sometimes more," said one Costco worker, confirmed by plenty of Redditors expressing sadness about the chocolaty "loss."