1. Half-sheet cakes
Add Costco’s iconic half-sheet cakes to the growing list of things COVID-19 has canceled this year.
The warehouse chain shelved these sweet slabs in the spring. A staple at birthday parties, the half-sheet cakes were an inexpensive way to feed around 50 people a pop. The company informed Delish that it has no immediate plans to revive the fan favorite.
Instead, Costco has been directing people to its 10-inch round cakes, which serve about a dozen people, as a more suitable option for today’s socially distanced gatherings.
2. Polish dogs
It came as a shock to us all. To make room for more healthy items on its food court menu, Costco got rid of its Polish dogs in 2018.
The decision outraged loyal customers, who took to Twitter to protest under the hashtag #SaveThePolishDog. Sadly, their efforts were in vain, and Polish dogs are still missing from the menu.
But don’t fret, friends. You can still snag the regular, all-beef frankfurter, and Costco’s $1.50 hot dog and soda combo is in no danger of disappearing any time soon.
3. Kirkland Signature Light Beer
For better or for worse, Costco stopped production of its Kirkland Signature Light Beer in 2018.
The 48-packs sold for $22 — less than 50 cents per can. While the beer had a cult following of party-goers on a budget, it certainly had its critics as well.
One reviewer on RateBeer famously compared the brew’s smell to a “urine-soaked diaper sitting on a piping-hot radiator.” With feedback like that, it’s no surprise Costco didn’t keep it around.
Although the light beers are long gone, you may still be able to grab a $20 craft-brewed variety pack with pale, blonde, brown and India pale ales.
4. All American Chocolate Cake
This glorious mountain of rich, chocolatey goodness was abruptly abandoned by Costco without explanation, leaving customers confused and distraught.
The four-layer chocolate cake was packed with frosting and garnished with chocolate shavings. No one knows why Costco stopped making it, only that it vanished some time in 2019 and now remains the stuff of legend.
The loss even inspired a petition on Change.org, which garnered more than 3,000 signatures.
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5. Hand-dipped ice cream bars
Costco got rid of this delectable dessert way back in 2013, but seasoned shoppers remember it well.
The vanilla ice cream bar, dipped in chocolate and encrusted in toasted almonds, sold for only $1.50 at the food court.
Some speculate that rising almond and dairy prices may have prompted Costco to remove the treat from its menu, although the company has been known to sell at a loss with its roast chickens.
You could also find Kirkland Signature vanilla almond ice cream bars in the freezer section, but fans of the food court version claim they simply couldn’t compare.
A Change.org petition with over 85,000 signatures may have led Costco to drop this Mosanto-owned weed-killer from store shelves.
Founder of Moms Across America, Zen Honeycutt, created a petition calling for the retailer to drop Roundup, following billion dollar lawsuits that claimed the herbicide caused cancer. Honeycutt announced on her website that she had confirmed with three people from Costco headquarters that Roundup would no longer be sold in American warehouses.
Bayer, the company that owns Monsanto, maintains that Roundup is safe to use. Yet the World Health Organization classifies Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” and numerous U.S. cities have either banned or restricted the substance.
7. BBQ beef brisket sandwich
Although this food court favorite was only available at select Costco locations, fans grieved when the retailer swept grease aside to make room for healthier meals.
The sandwich was crammed with juicy beef dripping in sweet BBQ sauce and topped with a creamy coleslaw. At $4.99, however, it probably didn’t get the same following as cheaper items on the menu.
Fortune reported in 2018 that “at least some” warehouses had dropped the BBQ beef brisket sandwich, however Kitchn suggested in 2019 that it occasionally resurfaces as a seasonal item.
8. Chocolate frozen yogurt
Costco’s chocolate frozen yogurt was another item that didn’t make the cut when the warehouse was revamping the food court menu, though you can still get vanilla.
San Luis Obispo’s The Tribune first reported in 2018 that a Costco in the California county had discontinued the chocolate yogurt and it seems as though other locations followed.
Despite the 300 petitioners on Change.org who have refused to accept the transition, Costco doesn’t seem to plan on bringing it back.
Costco apparently swapped this tasty treat for a healthier option: an acai bowl with banana chips, granola, blueberries and strawberry slices.
9. Kirkland Signature Turkey Burgers
The same year that Costco cleared many fattening items from its food court menu, it also removed this healthy item from its store shelves.
The extra-lean turkey patties, at only 200 calories each, were a welcome alternative to beef and a popular choice for customers looking to drop a few pounds.
A concerned citizen began a petition on Change.org to bring it back, but there has been no word on the turkey burgers’ return.
Thankfully, the reviews for the Columbus turkey burgers currently sold at Costco have been pretty positive.
10. Kirkland Signature American Cheese
Millennials are speedily killing off American cheese, so it comes as little surprise that Costco discontinued this Kirkland Signature product.
Unlike the still-popular Kraft Singles, Kirkland Signature cheese slices weren’t individually wrapped. Consumers disagreed about whether the convenience would be worth the wasteful packaging.
Many felt that the store brand product beat its name brand competitor in taste, but in the end Kraft has survived where Kirkland has not.
“Sales were dropping on the KS stuff,” writes Costco Panda, a self-professed insider, on Reddit. “Down several million dollars a year. Made more sense to increase our purchase volume from Kraft and, in turn, get a better price.”
11. Fresh made gelato
Some of you may remember this one, depending on whether your Costco food court offered it.
Some locations served gelato in flavors like strawberry, chocolate, stracciatella, pistachio or mixed berry, costing $1.50 for a three-scoop waffle cone and $4.99 for a quart to go.
A petition on Change.org (with over 100 supporters) says Costco stopped offering gelato in 2015. CellSalesThrowaway2 on Reddit claims the food court favorite was just a trial offering on the menu that was deemed a failure and removed after a year or so.
12. Kirkland Signature 5-Pocket Jeans
In 2016, Costco briefly discontinued its Kirkland Signature 5-Pocket Jeans for men and then reintroduced them with “design improvements.”
However, fans of the original “dad jeans” were not pleased with the changes. A customer posting on Reddit argued the newer version was a poor substitute because of its thin material and different fit and design.
Costco seems to have canceled production of these jeans entirely (possibly replacing the Kirkland Signature brand with Urban Star), according to dozens of distraught commenters on Facebook.
Costco still carries Kirkland Signature Men's Jeans; however, reviewers on the store’s website still fondly remember the 5-Pocket version.
13. Cuddle With Me dolls
In 2009, Costco stopped carrying a Cuddle With Me doll that customers found racially offensive.
The dolls came in three different ethnicities — Caucasian, African American and Hispanic — and each was accompanied by a plush panda or monkey. A Costco member in North Carolina filed a complaint regarding the African American doll, which was paired with the monkey and a banana and wore a headband with the label “lil’ monkey.”
Costco immediately pulled all of the sets that included the plush monkey out of its stores. Although the other versions were available for a while, Costco seems to have banished the collection entirely.
14. Kirkland Signature Performance One golf balls
Costco’s known for its lenient return policy, but when a relaunch of its Kirkland Signature Performance One golf balls failed to meet the mark, the retailer ended up axing the product entirely.
The golf balls initially rolled out in 2016. Customers were delighted, but Acushnet Holdings Corp., owner of golf ball maker Titleist, was less so. The corporation claimed Costco’s product violated Titleist patents, and the two companies battled it out in a lawsuit.
The case was settled in 2018, and Costco pulled back its original product. The wholesaler debuted a new version of its Performance One golf balls soon after — however, plenty of customers complained about its lack of durability. Costco refunded buyers for both the product and shipping costs, even without returns.
It’s unknown whether the big-box giant plans to revamp and re-release the Performance One product once again. For now, the Kirkland Signature Three-Piece Urethane Cover Golf Ball Performance Plus is available.
15. Threatened seafood
An eight-month Greenpeace campaign helped convince Costco to launch a sustainable seafood policy in 2011 — and drop several wild-caught species from its seafood section.
“Costco must use its massive buying power to leverage positive change in our oceans,” the environmental group wrote. Greenpeace says its "Oh-No-Costco" campaign garnered more than 100,000 signatures.
The retailer no longer sells wild seafood species “that have been identified at great risk,” such as Atlantic cod and halibut, shark and Bluefin tuna. In 2019, Costco added some varieties of wild salmon to its list as well.
16. Chaokoh coconut milk
Several retailers, including Costco, dropped Chaokoh coconut milk from shelves recently, after PETA accused the brand of using coconuts harvested through monkey labor.
PETA investigators claimed that Thai supplier Theppadungporn Coconut Co. sourced its coconut milk from facilities and farms using caged monkeys. The company denied the allegations, telling USA Today that its suppliers have signed memorandums of understanding that there’s no monkey labor at their farms.
In a letter to PETA’s president in September 2020, Costco Vice President of Corporate Food and Sundries Ken Kimble said the wholesale club was investigating its suppliers but would pull the product from store shelves for the time being.
The company has since issued no updates on whether it will resume selling the controversial brand.
17. Eggs from caged chickens
In 2020, Costco hatched a plan to only sell cage-free eggs in its stores across the globe as part of its animal welfare policy. However, it might take a few years to get there, depending on suppliers.
As of the 2020 fiscal year, 93.2% of the wholesaler’s eggs in U.S. stores were cage-free, but Costco has already achieved its 100% goal in France, Iceland, Spain and the U.K.
You can check your egg cartons for the cage-free certification before you purchase them. Kirkland Signature Organic Large Brown Eggs and Kirkland Signature Liquid Egg Whites are among the available cage-free Costco products.
18. Costco-branded cookbooks
For over a decade, Costco used to publish and distribute its own handy cookbooks for members on Thanksgiving weekend, but it discontinued the tradition in 2015.
The Costco Way cookbooks were replaced by recipes straight from suppliers in the "Farm to Table” section of the Costco Connection e-zines, which get released each month.
The blogger behind The Costco Connoisseur was less than pleased by the swap, writing, “The only polite word that comes to mind to describe this is: LAME.”
In case you haven’t held on to your old copies, Costco cookbook devotees can still find archived copies by searching “Cooking the Costco Way" on the Costco Connection website.
19. Kirkland Signature milk chocolate peanut butter cups
Costco customers claim the Kirkland Signature peanut butter cups were good enough to rival Reese’s.
As one satisfied Amazon user put it: “Kirkland brand nails it. The peanut butter is super creamy. There is just the right amount of chocolate. This decadent marriage of chocolatey, salty creaminess is almost too good to be real. DO NOT have these in the house if you are on a diet.”
However, the beloved product is no longer listed on the store website, and fans bemoan that they’re no longer offered in stores either.
20. Kirkland Signature frozen four-cheese ravioli
This tasty instant pasta, stuffed with ricotta, asiago, parmesan and Grana Padano cheeses, were definitely a hit with customers, judging by the irate Facebook comments demanding its return.
Food blogger MelanieCooks declared the product tasted “just as good as the cheese ravioli in Italian restaurants” and that she wouldn’t be surprised if restaurants were serving the Kirkland Signature pasta at inflated prices.
No formal announcements were made regarding the ravioli’s regrettable departure, but the product isn’t listed on the Costco website, and customers say it’s been a long while since it was offered in-store.
21. Palmetto Cheese
Costco reportedly pulled Palmetto Cheese from shelves last year after brand owner Brian Henry made a public Facebook post attacking a popular protest group.
The Post and Courier reports that the pimento cheese would no longer be carried in more than 120 U.S. Costco stores, and one Myrtle Beach location says the item has been discontinued and would not be re-ordered.
Costco has yet to comment on the product being removed. Henry told the news outlet that “Costco rotates items in and out during the course of the year. They will occasionally add and drop products as a matter of normal business ... We remain optimistic that Palmetto Cheese will be back on the shelves in the not too distant future.”
Henry made a public apology in September 2020 and said the company would be rebranding “to be more sensitive to cultural diversity,” according to MyrtleBeachOnline.