More Food Court memories
We went on a tour to Vietnam this past
March. I had my pictures developed at
Costco, and stopped at the Food Court. While I
looked at the pictures, I noticed a Vietnamese
family watching me. I told them about the pictures and the trip, and they joined in to view the
pictures. We all had fun sharing memories of
that beautiful country, and by the time I was
done with the 300 photos there was a whole
crowd of Vietnamese people reliving memories
of their home.
Super value and quality, and a
price—$1.50—that Jim Sinegal
says he’ll never change.
Our family has a Costco tradition: Every Friday
night we go out for pizza at our local Costco
in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. It’s a great way to end a
busy week and kick off what is almost always a
Cataño, Puerto Rico
My husband and I [have been] married 24
years. For the last four years, we have budgeted hard to help our two children with their university tuition fees so they wouldn’t finish with a
huge debt. At least once a month, we have lunch
at Costco. Drinks and pizza for two people [for]
under a fiver!!! You can enjoy a bargain, live within
your means and still “date.”
As a Costco member, I took my 90-year-old
mother on her walker [for] her first visit to do
my weekly shopping there. It was around lunchtime when we finished. I was amazed when she
fell in love with the pizza combo and chocolate
yogurt. Every week without fail we enjoy meeting
for lunch for her faves. The employees know [us]
by sight and our favorite order. Delicious.
My husband and I frequently go to lunch at
Costco during our lunchtime from running
our own business. While there we noticed an
elderly couple (80ish in age) eating the fruit and
yogurt dessert. We started up a conversation
with them, and they explained that this was
their date. They took the bus everywhere they
went, and one stop was Costco for their yogurt
treat. They were smiling at each other, and you
could tell they thoroughly enjoyed being in the
moment, together. My husband and I felt fortunate to have been a part of their day. We
hope we can feel as lucky and alive as they
did when we get to be that age.
New dog in town
The arrival of the new Kirkland Signature™ ¼ Pound Plus all-beef hot dog at
Food Courts in many parts of the country has prompted Costco members to ask
what happened to the kosher hot dog they’ve been eating for years, and the
bigger question: Why did Costco mess with something that wasn’t broken—or was it?
Worldwide in 2008, Costco sold more than 82 million quarter-pound hot dogs in
its Food Courts. This year that number will be close to 90 million. Going forward,
those numbers will continue to rise.
What’s not rising is the availability of kosher raw materials and kosher produc-tion-plant capacity for making those hot dogs. Clearly the kosher meat industry never
anticipated the high demand that Costco’s continued growth represents.
Costco, which had relied on the two national suppliers of kosher hot dogs since
the mid-’80s, became concerned in 2007 over troubling signs in the kosher meat
industry that ultimately led to a decrease in supply. A decision was made to investigate and develop Costco’s own Kirkland Signature–brand hot dog.
Timing is everything, because by the end
of 2008 three events had coincided: One of the
original hot dog suppliers made the decision ... developed without
to quit the kosher meat business; one of the
largest kosher raw-ingredient suppliers was fillers, binders,
closed down; and Costco was ready to test its
new hot dog in a couple of warehouses.
phosphates, corn syrup,
Back when the original hot dog carts
artificial colors and
were conceived, the desire was to deliver a
quality product. With hot dog industry stan-
artificial flavors ... found
dards at an all-time low in 1984, going with a
kosher product was the best way to insure in other brands ...
consistent quality at that time. Kosher—
which literally means “fit” or “proper”—was
a good starting point in addressing food safety concerns.
Today’s standards for hot dogs have shifted in a positive way, reinforced by
stricter product labeling and better-than-ever food safety guidelines.
As with the hundreds of other Kirkland Signature products, Costco has been able
to focus on the best processing plants in the industry—all with full-time U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service supervision.
The new Kirkland Signature ¼ Pound Plus hot dogs are about 10 percent heavier
and longer than the old quarter-pound hot dogs and are made from 100 percent beef
with only fresh USDA Choice or better cuts. This high-quality hot dog has been developed without fillers, binders, phosphates, corn syrup, artificial color and artificial flavors, which are frequently found in other brands, including some of the kosher brands.
Everything about the new hot dog is high in quality. In blind taste tests against
the older brands, the Kirkland Signature hot dog won consistently. You owe it to
yourself to see if it lives up to your expectations of quality and value.—DW