Irony at Costco

So there I was, walking out of Costco today  and what was the last thing you could buy on your way out?  No, not that thick crust slice of pizza the size of Texas or the “new” Chicken Bake (chicken breast, cheese and bacon smothered in Caesar salad dressing  for $2.99…does everything in America need to be doused in Ceasar dressing?).  Not that foot long tube they call a hot dog  or the fresh vegetables at the salad bar (oh, you don’t have a salad bar at your Costco…NOR DO I).  It wasn’t anything you could eat, watch, use in the kitchen or bedroom.  No, not a new bathing suit or 12 pairs of  tube socks. None of the above.  In many ways, this is the “final” purchase….the the Universal Casket.   Once you complete this purchase, the doors literally close behind you!

 They know that if you eat too much of the over-sized processed food you find aisle after  aisle, eventually you will need to order one of these for yourself or a loved one.  I don’t know about you but I find this item, in this location (just before the guy who checks your cart) a little unsettling and ironic.  Is it really a profit maker for them or just one more deal to be had?

I’ve been a Costco “Member since Forever” and have benefited from many purchases.  The ones I came to get and the ones that struck my fancy once I was there.  I probably didn’t need everything but isn’t this a place of “wants” and not “needs”.    One of the other great things to do is to eat your way through the store at the many sample stations, luring you to eat  and buy more stuff.    I particularly like the specialty seafood salads, so yummy.  My body can only afford a few of those samples. The Maine Lobster and Blue Crab dips are 60 calories for 1/2 oz, or more accurately stated, 120 cal per oz and the Seafood Salmon (didn’t we assume that the salmon was seafood, is there any other type of salmon…free range?) at a mere 60 cal per oz.   Each of the crackers carry a 1/2 oz portion so you can easily gain weight on a few bites.   Before you know it, you’ve ingested 600 calories of nothing.  Unless there is company at my house, this is a dangerous purchase and will likely undo all of the good things I do at the gym. 

Next I wandered over to the baked goods area for some more samples and there was Maria, gloved and dipping the fresh baked bread (pecan, multi grain and caramelized onion) in a lot of partially melted butter to make it taste better.   Everything tastes better in butter!  All of these nibbles which turn into purchases  helps build the case for that final purchase…the Universal casket.


  1. Francine,you must have a very sophisticated Costco there, compared to ours! No pecan bread with caramelized onions, Maine Lobster /Crab Dips or caskets on the way out the door! Our lowly little Niagara corridor chains only carry the basics. Sometimes, on rare occasions they tempt us with Oriental pot stickers or gourmet coffee beans. Seems once you cross the Burlington Bay Skyway bridge the marketing strategies target a less sophisticated audience. This has always made me wonder, does living in a smaller community mean you have no taste, or cultural savvy ? What happens when the big city dwellers decide to move to the country to experience a more leisurely and enriched way of life, do they automatically become less worthy or sophisticated ??? The last thing I would look at would be a casket, what are they thinking???

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