From the critically acclaimed Kirkland brand laundry detergent all the way to beloved bakery and food court gems, there's a lot to love at Costco's warehouses. Club members aren't shy about spreading the word about the products they can't live without. But, they also don't hold back when it comes to grocery items that don't quite hit the mark.
All shoppers have their own personal tastes and preferences, but for the following products, it seems that recent customer complaints outweigh the praises.
Read on to find out which items you may want to steer clear of on your next Costco run.
Despite its status as one of the warehouse's most beloved products, Costco's $4.99 rotisserie chicken recently sparked concerns from shoppers after one Reddit user noticed it had "distinct chemical flavor." Several other customers reported similar experiences, describing the chicken as "chemically," "soapy," and "off-putting." While one Redditor said the chicken tasted "almost metallic," others compared the flavor to chlorine and plastic.
Although it remains unclear why shoppers are detecting these flavors, some Reddit users hypothesized that the plastic container or cleaning solution residue leaches into the chicken. Meanwhile, one Redditor, who claimed to be a deli worker, shared that Costco has two suppliers, noting that the chickens that come from Foster Farms—as opposed to Costco's Nebraska-based chicken plant—are of lower quality. "If your chicken is gross, it's most likely due to the fact that it's a [F]oster [F]arm chicken," they wrote.
Costco did not respond to our request for comment.
Kevin's Korean BBQ Style Beef
This ready-to-heat beef has been a subject of dissatisfaction among several Redditors. Last month, one user started a thread titled, "Kevin's Korean BBQ is soooo bad," writing that the beef did "not have enough flavor or sweetness to taste like bulgogi" and had a "horrific" texture. Other Reddit users expressed similar sentiments, with one commenting that they were "shocked at the quality of the meat and the lack of flavor in the sauce"
Additionally, some customers shared grievances about other products from Kevin's Natural Foods, including the Lemongrass Chicken and Buffalo Cauliflower. Other Redditors critiqued the brand entirely. "I've found all the Kevin's stuff we've tried from Costco to be incredibly disappointing," one user wrote, adding, "Not terrible really, but mostly just very bland."
Straying from the complaints, two users suggested cooking the meat in a wok, which they both said made it "tasty."
Produce-related complaints are nothing new for Costco. Fruits and veggies have been at the center of numerous internet conversations, with Redditors reporting various issues ranging from sprouting potatoes to moldy oranges, berries, cucumbers, and bagged salad.
Costco's avocados are yet another fruit that have been disappointing shoppers. In a recent Reddit thread dedicated to products that customers no longer buy because of their negative experiences with them, multiple users reported issues with the warehouse's avocados. One user commented, " I stopped buying the avocados a while ago because they wouldn't ripen properly."
Gallon Milk Jugs
Over the years, shoppers haven't been shy when it comes to their qualms about Costco's gallon-sized milk jugs. The issue isn't with the milk, though—it's with the product's packaging.
Redesigned in 2008 with the goal of being cheaper and easier to ship, as well as more environmentally friendly, Costco's square-shaped milk jugs have been repeatedly criticized for being difficult to pour and easy to spill.
In one of several Reddit threads dedicated to the cumbersome product, one user wrote, "I had no idea we were so lucky to not have them for several years. Everyone in our family literally groaned when they saw them in the fridge." Another one added, "They are trash."
However, not all Costco locations carry the same style of milk jugs. During Costco's annual shareholders meeting in January, Costco's CEO Craig Jelinek pointed out that the company uses several different bottlers, suggesting that the issue with the product could be regional.
Realgood's Chicken Grande Enchiladas With Tomatillo Sauce
Like the milk jugs, Real Good's Chicken Grande Enchiladas With Tomatillo Sauce have sparked multiple Reddit threads, as well. In January, one user uploaded a photo of the box and titled the post, "Tried the Realgood brand enchiladas. Costco, WTF were you thinking? 0 out of 5 stars."
The thread has since racked up 220 comments, with the majority of Reddit users complaining about the keto-friendly product.
"Nope, I hated them and threw them out. I'm on keto but these things are a salty mess that have a terrible flavor," one Reddit user commented. Another user called the flavor "super, SUPER bland," noting that the enchiladas are "smaller than the package implies" and have a "soggy" texture and "very low-quality" cheese that "melts oddly."
Kirkland Organic Hard-Boiled Eggs
Reddit user u/simpleout received over 400 upvotes last fall for a disapproving post about Kirkland Signature's Organic Hard-Boiled Eggs. "The hard-boiled eggs are pretty gross, they have a weird flavor," the post read. Despite the initial support, shoppers in the comments appeared to be split between either loving or hating the Costco item.
"I've gotten these, they always taste funny to me too. Almost like I can taste the plastic," one commenter shared, while another said, "I eat the heck out of these and have not had any issues. Perhaps you got an improperly stored batch." Some opted to skip the debate altogether and instead went straight to the advice on how to boil your own eggs at home.
My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream
Similar to the Kirkland brand hard-boiled eggs, Costco's boxes of My Mochi Ice Cream sparked a heated debate on Reddit, garnering over 200 comments. On one side of the argument were those who found the mochi variety—which includes strawberry, vanilla bean, and mango flavors—to be delightful. But others were not as charmed.
Critics didn't love the mochi's flavor or texture, and the word "horrible" was thrown around the thread quite a bit. One commenter even compared the taste of the frozen dessert to burnt dirt. Ouch!
Is the famed chicken bake skimping on both quality and quantity? Back in October, customers complained that the food court item has lost its appeal since the pandemic. A couple of the product's former fans described the current version as bland, containing less chicken, and overall much smaller for a higher price tag.
"It's basically just an expensive baguette with a thin tube of salted cheese inside, the last couple I've had barely had any chicken at all," one user wrote.
This isn't the first time Costco shoppers have spoken up about the food court's declining quality—other esteemed products such as the Costco pizza and hot dog have also been put into question.
Costco's freshly-made sushi has been a controversial topic since the beginning. While some members pine for it and hope it makes its way to their local warehouses, others are less than pleased with its overall taste. Two months ago, one Reddit user shared that the warehouse's sushi was "selling like hot cakes" at a Tukwila, Wash., store. Not everyone was excited by this announcement though, with one Reddit user commenting, "Can't imagine why. It's literally some of the worst sushi I've ever had."
A few months before this, one Reddit user announced that Okami Sushi Party Trays were on sale at Costco. Within the almost 200 comments, many shoppers were wary of "clearance" or "discount" sushi, while others who had tried it tore into the overall flavor. "It's like chewing soft plastic dipped in soy sauce," one Redditor recalled. Another said: "I love that Costco mostly sells really good quality items. But that stuff is garbage."