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Costco Raised Food Court Prices: Sure Sign of Apocalypse

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Image from Costco facebook.  Yes, this is Costco foodcourt cosplay.   And it’s not weird.   This is normal.

Since 1985, Costco has offered a hotdog meal for $1.50. Adjusted for inflation a dog and soda should actually cost around $4 today, but Costco has vowed to never change the price.  The Costco founder Jim Senegal once famously told CEO Craig Jelinek: “If you raise the [price of the] fucking hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out.”

Jelinek promptly told the press in January of 2020, “We have no plans to take that hot dog above a buck fifty. End of story.” Good call Jim.

Ok, so on pain of death, the hotdog and soda combo price will not change, so what has?  The price of the ‘Chicken Bake’ and the ’20 oz Soda’ have been sacrificed at the altar of inflation.  The chicken bake will now sell for $3.99, one dollar more than in June. The price for a 20 oz soda increased from $0.59 to $0.69, an increase of 10 cents or about 17%.

Don’t ask any questions. This is just a thing that is now happening at Costco.

The chicken bake, a breaded ‘hot-pocket-type-deal that is filled with chicken, cheese, bacon, and a Caesar dressing, a combination of things that should really only sound good to broke college students and toddlers, has seen it’s price go up with inflation steadily over the years.  When wrote about the chicken bake in 2010, it cost $2.99.

Due to inflation and energy costs, grocery prices have skyrocketed in 2022, with inflation reaching above 8% , in May, chicken prices were up over 17% over the previous year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wings and breasts are up the most, at 38% and 24% respectively, and soda prices are up too.

Costco is pretty great, they treat their employees well, pay them better than most large retailers and retain them better than most large retailers, and they actually seem not to HATE their customers.  Keeping their food court prices insanely low is a relatively cheap way to retain customer loyalty and feed hungry people.   Now, they may be selling corn syrup and ground-up cow lips, but hey, this is America after all.

And, although they do ask their customers to pay them $120 a year in membership fees…all you have to do is eat several hundred Costco hotdogs to get your money’s worth.  Or just eat all the great free samples near the frozen section!

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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