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Discontinued Costco Products: Items the Chain has Pulled from Shelves

There’s no doubt that Costco is one of America’s most beloved retail chains. The member’s only stores are known  for their warehouse structures, gigantic portions, and relatively low prices. However, the store doesn’t have everything. In fact, there are many popular discontinued Costco products.

These products have been pulled from shelves for countless reasons. Some were due to the pandemic, others due to profitability. There’s even been a controversy or two that have led to popular products disappearing seemingly overnight. The one thing they all have in common? Dedicated fans who wish they were still on sale.

Do you miss any of these discontinued Costco products?

Roundup Weed Killer

Roundup’s slogan may have been “No root, no weed, no problem” but the company ran into massive legal problems when they were sued for allegedly causing cancer. Costco quickly dropped the weedkiller brand and haven’t sold it since.

Kirkland Trek Mix

Costco’s Kirkland Trek Mix was popular among hikers and outdoorsmen, which makes it all the more confusing why Costco pulled them from stores. The chin still offers third park varieties, but most ardent Kirkland Trek Mix fans don’t think they live up to the departed original.

Food Court Italian Sausage Sandwich

The Italian Sausage Sandwich was a staple in Costco food courts in the Northeastern United States for decades. However, the 2020 pandemic saw the sandwich pulled from the food court’s simplified menus when the stores reopened.

Beef Brisket Sandwich

Costco’s $4.99 Beef Brisket sandwich had a big following amongst the chain’s fans, however, it was dropped from the food court menu in lieu of healthier options a few years ago. However, there have been recent rumors that the sandwich has reappeared as a seasonal item in certain locations.

"At-Risk" Seafood

Beginning in 2011, Costco has been phasing out endangered or overfished seafood from its stores. Fish on this list include wild swordfish, bluefin tuna, sharks, Atlantic cod, Chilean sea bass, grouper, and Wild King Salmon.

Cigarettes

Costco, like many other retailers, began taking cigarettes out of their stores in 2016. According to a company spokesman at the time, “Tobacco is a very low margin business, tends to have higher theft and is labor-intensive in some cases (due to local municipality regulations)—further, we felt we could better use the space to merchandise other items.”

Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Costco replaced traditional chocolate frozen yogurt with healthier açaí in 2018. The chain does still offer traditional vanilla, however.

Chaokoh Coconut Milk

In the fall of 2020, it was revealed that popular coconut milk brand Chaokoh was using monkey labor to pick coconuts. According to PETA, ” When not being forced to pick coconuts or perform in circus-style shows for tourists, the animals were kept tethered, chained to old tires, or confined to cages barely larger than their bodies. One coconut farmer confirmed that when monkeys are terrified and try to defend themselves, handlers may have their teeth pulled out.”

Costco pulled the drink from its stores, releasing a statement that read, “We have ceased purchasing from our supplier/owner of the brand Chaokoh… We have made it clear to the supplier we do not support the use of monkeys for harvesting and that all harvesting must be done by human labor.”

Calzones

In addition to their well-known pizza pies, Costco food courts once sold calzones. The calzones – which came in various varieties with dipping sauce – were a popular option, especially thanks to their 2 for $6.99 price point. However, said price may have been their undoing, as they disappeared from menus for not being profitable enough.

The Original Kirkland Golf Balls

Costco members who also happened to be golf enthusiasts were elated when Costco introduced Kirkland Signature gold balls. However, golf equipment manufacturer Titleist were less enthused. They sued Costco over the design of the Kirkland balls and came out victorious. After losing the case, Costco introduced a new version of their golf balls that were so bad the company had to offer refunds.

Palmetto Cheese

Costco allegedly pulled Palmetto cheese products off shelves after the brand’s owner Brian Henry made some controversial public comments about protest groups. however, the chain claims that it was a simple product swap, saying in a statement, “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.”

Kirkland Cinnamon Roll Protein Bars

Costco pulled this popular flavor or protein bars as part of a plan to phase new flavor offerings in and out, and longtime fans were not happy.

Racially Insensitive Cuddle With Me Doll

Costco found itself in a world of controversy over this Cuddle With Me doll that was briefly sold in the early 2000s. The doll, the only African American representation in the assortment, featured a stuffed monkey and a headband that read “lil’ monkey” on the doll itself. There was a massive outcry over the doll’s racial insensitivity. Costco quickly pulled the specific doll from shelves, and eventually the whole brand.

Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Bar

These hand-dipped one cream bars were a staple of Costco’s food courts for years, and their $1.30 price point made them a popular snack. Unfortunately for fans, the bars were discontinued, and despite numerous petitions, they have yet to be brought back.

Kirkland Body Soap

Costco’s Kirkland Body Soap was popular amongst, shoppers but it was pulled for (and this is a direct quote) issues with its “strong scent.” Yeah, we could see how that would be an issue with, uh, soap.

Kirkland 4-Cheese Ravioli

Fans of quick, easy-to-make Italian dinners were devastated at the loss of Kirkland’s 4-Cheese Ravioli. Some claimed the raviolis were so good that local restaurants would buy bags of it and pass it off as their own.

Original Kirkland Signature Jeans

Costco’s original cut of “dad jeans” were wildly popular. So, not surprisingly, fans were enraged when they were pulled and replaced with a cut many deemed – to put it kindly – inferior.

All-American Chocolate Cake

Costco’s All-American Chocolate Cake was a decadent delight, a round four-layer chocolate cake that many found delicious. However, with no explanation, the cake was pulled in 2020. Fans have launched a change.org petition to bring it back, which has yielded no results so far.

Free Samples

Granted, free samples aren’t a “product” but they were an essential part of the Costco experience that’s disappeared due to the pandemic. We can only hope they’ll be back someday.

Kirkland Peanut Butter Cups

Hardcore fans of Kirkland’s Peanut Butter Cups would argue that they’re better than Reese’s. However, there apparently weren’t enough of said fans to keep the product in production.

Kirkland Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Costco discontinued these popular chocolate chips despite their immense popularity. According to one Reddit user, the chips baked “into cookies, muffins, and pancakes incredibly well. They weren’t too sweet, had a great flavor, and came in an enormous bag,”

Gelato

Costco’s food court menu offered gelato for several years, and the sweet treat developed a cult following. It probably helped that Costco only charged $1.50 for three scoops or $4.99 to get a quart to go.

Kirkland Light Beer

Kirkland Signature’s Light Beer was known as a favorite of college parters and Fourth of July revelers alike thanks to the cost of a 48 pack coming out to less than $.60 a can. Unfortunately for these aficionados, Costco eliminated the brand and only sells more expensive third-party beers these days.

Costco Cookbooks

During the early 2000s, Costco published cookbooks featuring recipes using their products. The chain still releases some recipes online, but it’s just not the same.

Warm Pretzels

Visitors used to be able to enjoy several different pretzels, including the pictured cinnamon variety. However, like many other Costco food court gems, they’ve been phased out.

Kirkland American Cheese

Costco pulled their in-house brand of American Cheese because the variety has fallen out of favor in recent years. Like most items on our list, third-party equivalents are still available.

1/2 Sheet Cakes

Costco’s 1/2 sheet cakes were the chain’s iconic bakery product, popular at birthday parties, BBQs, and other gatherings as they could easily feed 50+ people. However they’ve been pulled in a post-pandemic world, and we’re unsure if they’ll be back.

Kirkland Turkey Burgers

Kirkland’s Turkey Burgers were yet another discontinued Costco product that were so popular that fans have started a change.org petition to bring them back. Just like the other petitions on our list, nothing has happened.

Non-Cage Free Eggs

Costco, citing animal welfare concerns, transitioned to fully cage-free organic eggs over the final few years of the 2010s, achieving 100% by 2020.

Polish Hot Dog

Similar to the Northeast’s former staple sausage and peppers, the Polish Dog was a major part of Costco’s food court menus throughout the midwest before it was removed. Fans were so enraged that Costco had to make a statement on the company website that read:

In order to simplify our menu and make room for healthier options, we have decided to offer only the all-beef Hot Dog. Sales show this is what the majority of members prefer. Though we understand many members loved the Polish Dog, we hope you enjoy our new offerings.

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