In a photo posted by @costcoguy4u on Instagram, it shows a familiar kiosk set up for the samples. But rather than having the food cooked right on the kiosk, there is a clear display case that shows the cooked product with dry packages of the ingredients stacked in front of it. In this case, the items were jarred pasta sauce, spaghetti noodles, and spinach ravioli. It’s unclear if the packaged items are there for customers to take home and sample themselves, but that does seem to be the case.
“A little different than what we are used to but we will take it! It looks like they will be giving out pre-packaged dry samples and not on all demos…The new normal,” the Instagram account wrote on the photo. The kiosk also displays the price information, allergy alerts, and a reminder for customers to socially distance when shopping.
Original Post, May 29, 2020: In early March, Costco discontinued in-store food samples as an immediate response to the novel coronavirus. Many other policies have been put in place since then, and Costco has confirmed that food samples will be returning soon, although they may look a bit different than before.
During Costco’s quarterly earnings call yesterday, USA TODAY reported, Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said that samples will be making a return: “We’re going to start doing some things in mid-June on a slow rollout basis in sampling,” he said, emphasizing that the set-up will be adjusted for safety. “I can’t tell you any more, but needless to say it’s not going to be where you go and just pick up an open sample with your fingers.”
This announcement comes after the recent reopening of Costco’s in-store food courts. In mid-May, Costco began opening up their food courts with limited menus of the most popular food items available, like pizzas, hot dogs, and sodas. On-location seating is still not available and all food court items must be taken to-go.
Costco has been staying up-to-date with the ongoing pandemic and has implemented store policies accordingly. Since May 4, all shoppers and employees at Costco have been required to wear a face mask that covers their noses and mouths when shopping. Previously implemented rules—like a limit of two shoppers per membership ID—have since been lifted. While shopping, Costco still encourages proper social distancing to keep everyone safe.

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