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Chocolate Chunk Checking In

Posted 04/23/2024 by Miles Kahn

The Costco Cookie marks a pivotal shift in the food court menu, a shift that has done nothing less than spark controversy. photo courtesy of Costcohotfinds on Tiktok

A new Costco food court item, the chocolate chip cookie, is taking the place of the treasured churro. 

Costco Wholesale, the third largest retailer in the world, is making a major switch regarding a beloved food court item, specifically the cinnamon churro. The food court at Costco is a major appeal to members, providing notably inexpensive large portions of tasty food. The food court at Costco serves as a pull factor for members and brings in almost no profit for the company, breaking even with operating costs and revenue. 

The churro had been a long-standing staple on the menu until early this year. Costco yanked the churro from menus and replaced it with a giant chocolate chip cookie. The Churro was priced at about $1.50 and contained about 530 calories. The replacement cookie, titled on the menu as the “Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie,” is $2.49 and has 750 calories. The biggest difference between the treat switch is the price change, which many have justified through the acknowledgement that it is a very large cookie. At first, the cookie was an intruder to Costco lovers worldwide, but as it established itself, the internet took it by storm. 

Costco’s marketing strategy is exceptionally unique; they silently replaced the churro with the cookie and did not advertise this change at all. This strategy was a very cost effective way for Costco to market. Through the commercial silence, they established a word-of-mouth strategy as it feels as if the cookie is almost a secret item. It requires people to actually go into the store and see it first hand. This further drove up demand for people to be the first to see the new cookie after hearing about it. The unique and often avoided strategy that Costco has long implemented proved successful with the new cookie as it was greatly shared through word of mouth advertising, especially in the online world. Costco is able to keep their prices in the food court low because of its frugal marketing strategies. They benefit in three ways: they create the pull factor of low pricing for customers, they save money from advertising internally, and they further drive up foot traffic in store by creating desire for customers to see the new addition. 

Furthermore, the cookie craze has been filled with many mixed statements from consumers nationwide. With polarized opinions, some customers claim the cookie is worth every bite, dubbing it the best cookie ever created. On the other hand, a large group of consumers finds it abominable that Costco would ever replace the churro, let alone for a cookie that is nearly double the price. Many report the cookie to be “too chocolatey” and too unhealthy for their diets. Many cookie connoisseurs have struggled to get their hands on the product, being met with supply issues at their local Costcos where the cookie is sold out. While the cookie craze is still going strong, it’s too soon to really tell whether or not the cookie switch was a good idea, but it seems as though it’s here to stay.