Costco’s free food samples return with a new look: report

The free sample booths at Costco would be back, but with a slightly different look.

The big-box retailer has brought its beloved samples back to June after temporarily suspending them due to health and safety concerns amid the coronavirus, however, free food samples now appear to be packaged rather than made to taste for shoppers.

Superfan Instagram account @Costcoguy4u posted a photo of the new samples on Wednesday which show a bowl of pasta inside a display case surrounded by packaged, dry ingredients such as potted pasta sauce, spaghetti and ravioli with spinach. It’s unclear whether customers can sample the food or take home the entire product from the look of the photo.

COSTCO PLANS TO RETURN FREE FOOD SAMPLES

“A little different from what we are used to but we will take it! Looks like they’ll be giving out pre-packaged dry samples and not on all demos…The new normal,” @Costcoguy4u captioned the photo.

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The free sample basket also prompts customers to social distance while shopping and presents pricing information for products featured in the sample. It also informs customers of potential food allergy issues.

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The warehouse retailer temporarily closed its stores on April 6 following COVID-19-related shutdowns across the state, resulting in thousands of layoffs for its sales associates and warehouse workers.

Shoppers walk through Costco in Idaho Falls, Idaho on its opening day on Friday, August 14. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP)

In May, Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti told analysts on an earnings call that free samples would no longer be self-serve to minimize customer exposure to the virus.

Changing its free food sampling stations isn’t the only pivot the retailer has made. In June, Costco cut his sheet cakes from low-demand menus due to smaller gatherings. He still sells his 10-inch round cakes.

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