I have quite a bit of experience with Costco both as a supplier and as a customer. Working with Kraft Food Ingredients we sold all kinds of products to Costco and to their other suppliers. My early experience was in selling cheese powders that were a key ingredient in their bakery operation. They used our cream cheese powder in their cake icing. From that we sold them many different flavors, confection and cheese products.
- Menu Inspiration
Too many times my supper club menu has been based on what looked good at Costco. Simply put, the meats and seafood from Costco are better than most retail outlets.
- Quality Products
One time we had one of Costco’s head R&D people at KFI tech center. We had developed a flavor that could make a lesser cut of meat taste like a superior cut. The R&D guy was very up front saying: “Costco doesn’t sell lesser cuts of meat”. By in large he is right. If you see it at Costco, it is going to be a better quality.
- Treasure Hunt
That brings up another point. We call it the “treasure hunt” phenomena. If you see something at Costco that looks good, you better buy it when you see it because it may not be there the next time you are in the store. The Costco folks out at Kirkland Washington denied this was part of their strategy, but I think they were lying. My experience has been they shift products in and out regularly. The Treasure Hunt phenomena results in you buying more than you planned on. I can’t tell you the number of times I went to Costco to buy a $1.50 hotdog and wound up spending $200. There is a method to their madness.
- The “Snackies”
I will never forget the time my daughter brought her roommate Amy from London home for Thanksgiving. We took her to Costco and she couldn’t believe the value of the products. She could buy a pare of jeans for what it cost her to get them cleaned in the U.K. Amy also delighted in the food samples being given away calling them “Snackies”. Like most Costco regulars we have made quite a few meals out of grazing on the Snackies.
- Check Out Envy
My guess I am not the only one who looks at what others are buying to decide if I have missed out on something. It usually takes a day or two but if I see something good in someone else’s cart chances are I will be back to buy it.
From a supper club standpoint if you buy it at Costco you know that the quality is great and you more than likely have more than you need for a dinner party.
If you enjoy this blog and similar other stories/supper club lessons subscribe to get future blogs at www.impromptufridaynights.com/blog and be on the look out for my book Impromptu Friday Nights a Guide to Supper Clubs. Morgan James Publishing published the Kindle-Version on September 5, 2017 and the hard copy coming out January 30, 2018.