Gentlemen, Start Your Engines: Costco Samples Are Coming Back

After disappearing last year due to COVID concerns, free samples are about to line Costco aisles again.

There should be some sort of tax for individuals who use the phrase "nature is healing" to describe the post-vaccine return to normalcy—but I'm going to allow myself one (1) single use for a very special occasion. Here goes: Costco's free food samples are coming back, and nature is healing. Tax me! I will pay! I deserve it! Just give me the tiny plastic cup full of granola.

Costco CFO and executive vice president Richard Galanti shared the news during an earnings call with investors, USA Today reports. Per Galanti, Costco is bringing back in-store samples and food court seating options very, very soon. Around 170 of Costco's 550-plus U.S. stores will resume handing out samples during the first week of June (that's this week!) with the remaining store locations slated to follow by the end of the month.

Back in August 2020, after being absent for months due to COVID-related concerns, food demos did come back to Costco aisles, but it was not at all what we'd hoped it might be. These demos were more like displays, with a finished meal featured under plexiglass beside the products used to make it. Sometimes they came with a pre-boxed sample, but often they didn't. It just wasn't the same. Now, it sounds like we'll finally be able to eat our fill once again.

"All samples [will be] prepared behind plexiglass, prepared in smaller batches for better safety control, and distributed to members one at a time," Galanti explained, adding that food court seating options will also be limited to ensure adequate social distancing between customers. Galanti also reported that food court menus will expand this summer to include "new and improved churros," as well as a new premium ice cream that will reportedly replace the retailer's signature frozen yogurt. Line up, boys and girls, because we're about to recall the collective joy of eating Vienna sausage on a toothpick while purchasing bulk goods. Feels good, doesn't it?