Costco Could Soon Start Selling Fresh-Made Sushi
Costco gives its dedicated fans a lot of things to cheer about: enormous desserts in the bakery, world-class steaks in the meat department, "dangerously good" treats in the freezer aisle. But not everything at the warehouse generates the same outpouring of praise from club members. Some items, in fact, draw the opposite response.
For instance, the quality of the club's sushi—or, lack thereof—is a constant source of complaints. Supermarket sushi generally doesn't have the best reputation, but the comments online about Costco's pre-made uramaki-style rolls would seem to sink that already-subpar standard even lower.
"It's literally some of the worst sushi I've ever had," wrote one critic on Reddit. A commenter on Instagram likened it to "eating a hockey puck." Another Redditor mused, "It's like the rice was put into a hydraulic press to form it into one hard gelatinous sheet and then cut into rectangles for the rolls – not a pleasant texture."
Yet another Instagrammer helpfully suggested, "If they made it on premises it would probably be much fresher."
To its credit, Costco may now be taking steps to improve its poor standing among sushi enthusiasts. One shopper on Reddit this week noticed an all-new sushi station under construction at Costco's flagship warehouse in Issaquah, Wash.
The poster added, "An employee who looked fairly corporate hanging out by the sign, when I asked him to move so I could take this photo, told me it'll be open in four weeks and it's the ONLY one right now!! I'm so excited!!"
Costco declined to comment when contacted by Eat This, Not That!
Many commenters questioned whether the new sushi station would, in fact, serve fresh-made sushi or more of the same pre-made stuff that Costco members currently gripe about. To which, the poster clarified, "[t]hat's what he said 'fresh made sushi' I have no idea how it'll work but I will be back in four weeks to check it out and report back."
Others responded to the news with renewed optimism about the club's sushi offerings moving forward. "Wife and I bought a sushi tray from Costco thinking it was house made. We didn't realize it wasn't. It was a third party company. It was awful," wrote one commenter. "But if my Costco ever does in-house sushi, I will be trying it. Can't be any worse…"
The fact that the new sushi station is located in Issaquah, which is also home to Costco's corporate headquarters, only added to speculation about the company's plans for a possible wider rollout in the future. One commenter noted the location "gets a lot of try-out stuff because it's literally across the street from HQ."
Several commenters mentioned that Costco locations in Tokyo and Hawaii already serve fresh sushi. One suggested that even mainland U.S. stores have done so in the past: "Many years ago, Costco made in-store California Roll sushi with REAL crab. It was delicious and I was so disappointed when they stopped." Meanwhile, a shopper from the Cleveland, Ohio, area, pointed to rumors about fresh sushi coming soon to Midwest locations, as well: "I overheard our meat dept. manager talking about it recently as his dept would be the one to have to take in more fish to hold for the deli."
Further speculation on Reddit centered on what prompted Costco to pilot a fresh-sushi program in the first place. Is it the fresh sushi already on offer at rival Sam's Club? Or, is it all the complaining on social media? Or, is it both?
"I wonder if we here on reddit had anything to do with this," proposed one commenter. "CONSTANT posts about the terrible quality of the sushi they had, and how even Sams club has an in house sushi station…"
However, a more cynical commenter noted, "Our constant whining about not getting better stuff at the food court doesn't seem to move them, so I don't know."