Free samples return: Costco lifts COVID-19 suspension of free food samples

Fans of Costco’s free samples can rejoice.

Members of the discount warehouse chain will be able to once again graze as they shop.

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Costco announced this week that it’s “beginning a phased return to full sampling” in June.

The first week of the month will see about 170 locations in the U.S. roll the food carts out. The rest will be handing out free samples by the end of the month, CNN reported.

Samples had been discontinued in March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic shut down the country.

They had come back last summer, but were limited to prepackaged items that had been kept behind barriers, USA Today reported.

Now the traditional food samples will be prepared on site, in smaller batches, and handed out to members one at a time, according to USA Today.

There will be more changes coming to some Costco locations.

Some locations will have outdoor food courts while most of the locations will still have indoor seating just with more separation and four seats instead of six to eight. Food courts also were closed last March and had partially reopened with hot dogs and pizza but for takeout only.

The food offered is also changing. The company will be introducing improved churros starting July 4 and it is changing from frozen yogurt to ice cream, CNN reported.

The announcements were made during the company’s third-quarter earnings call this week, USA Today reported.