The New Insider Tool Every Costco Shopper Should Know About

published Nov 16, 2022
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One of the most fun things about shopping at Costco in different cities is checking out the regional variety of products and flavors on display. A beloved West Coast brand of guacamole salsa that’s ubiquitous on shelves in Hawaii may be impossible to find in Florida or Georgia; the smoked whitefish salad that’s snapped up for schmears across the Tri-State area is absolutely MIA at stores in California.

I travel a lot, and I’ve also moved several times in the past decade. I keep tabs on what’s available at Costco via, but I find the search options are often limited by seasonality or browsing location. That’s why I was delighted a few weeks ago, while trying to track down a recipe for Costco’s uber-rich macaroni and cheese, to discover the Costco Food Database.

The database includes a list of thousands of Costco products, plus product reviews and how-to guides. It’s a great resource for exploring the depth and range of Costco products across the nation. Here’s what you need to know.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

1. The database is not owned or operated by Costco.

The creator’s name is Greg Larkin, and while he isn’t affiliated with Costco at all, he has put together a directory of more than 4,000 Costco items — that’s nearly the same number of items that Costco stocks — including Bibigo Korean Fried Chicken, Clovis Farms Frozen Smoothie Packs, and Primal Chicken Buffalo Sauce, to name a few.

The Costco Food Database is less than a year old — according to online records, the domain was created in early 2022. The site is hosted by Mediavine Food, which is a subcategory of the Mediavine family of advertising networks.

Credit: Heather McClees

2. The product info is simple, yet thorough.

Much of the content is just straightforward listings of Costco items. Each listing includes a photo of the product (often with ingredient and nutritional information visible) and pricing, as well as the item’s SKU (stock keeping unit) and category so you can find it easily in the store or online.

3. You’ll find helpful product reviews.

The site also includes Larkin’s helpful reviews, which are honest and direct and peppered with tips. Maple and Brown Sugar Brekki Overnight Oats, for example, is described as “too sweet” and Larkin suggests mixing half of the flavored oats with plain oatmeal to tame the sweetness.

4. There are price comparisons between Costco and other retailers.

The product reviews also provide cost comparisons, making it easy to see what you can save by buying in bulk at Costco. The oats, for example, go for $7.99 for 6 ($1.33 each), compared to double the price per unit — $2.49 to $2.99 — at other retailers.

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5. There’s also a select, but growing, number of guides.

There are only eight guides right now, but the site is growing. They include a comprehensive summary of all the cuts of beef at Costco, with details on the characteristics of each; a detailed guide, including hacks and tips, to Costco’s rotisserie chicken; and a full review of Costco’s many types of chicken nuggets.

Have you visited the Costco Food Database? Share your thoughts in the comments below.