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This Costco Classic Went Missing During COVID-19, Now It's Back

Costco had to cancel this beloved member benefit during coronavirus due to safety reasons. Now, they're finally reviving it—with certain conditions.
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Ask any Costco member and they'll tell you why they brave the midday crowds to grab their groceries. It's simple: why pay for lunch when you can basically feed yourself with Costco's famous free samples? Next to scouting out new products and picking up a $5 rotisserie chicken, the free samples are probably the most beloved part of your Costco shopping experience.

That's why we were all devastated to hear that Costco announced they were suspending their food sample program due to safety concerns surrounding coronavirus. And then we were dealt another blow: the food court would close, too. How were we supposed to feed ourselves while we perused aisles of diamond rings, olive oil, flat-screen TVs, and flank steak?

After three long months, Costco finally revealed that they would be reintroducing free samples in June. (The food court reopened in late May.) "We're going to start doing some things in mid-June on a slow rollout basis in sampling," Costco CFO Richard Galanti said in an earnings call, as reported by USA Today. "I can't tell you anymore, but needless to say it's not going to be where you go and just pick up an open sample with your fingers."

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Although we don't know exactly what the new rules regarding food samples will be, based on Galanti's quote, it sounds like the popular shopping perk is going to be a significantly different experience than what members are used to. Perhaps you'll have to wait in line for samples, or maybe sample servers will hand them over to you. Either way, we'll have to wait until later this month to find out exactly how this will play out.

Free samples may be coming back soon at the bulk chain, but that's not the case with these 6 Things You May Never See at Costco Again.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Olivia Tarantino
Olivia Tarantino is a senior editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in nutrition, health, and food product coverage. Read more
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