Latest News

Costco Stores in Canada End Free Food Sample Program

Costco Stores in Canada End Free Food Sample Program

By Thomas Kenzaki

If you’re a fan of the free food samples at Costco, I’ve got some bad news for you. As of today, the program has been put on hold and you’ll no longer be able to eat your way through the store.

The reason Costco introduced this new change is, of course, due to the coronavirus global health emergency. The food sample program added unnecessary risk to both public and employee safety so I, for one, completely agree with their decision.

When the program will be reinstated is currently unknown, but it likely won’t happen soon as the number of coronavirus cases both here in Canada and worldwide continue to rise.

Costco’s free samples are so popular that they’re often referenced in pop culture and on social media so it would be shocking to see the program not resume once things return back to normal.

An empty display at a Vancouver Costco - Photo credit: LonesomeDove

In the meantime Costco stores across the country continue to operate as normal and you’ll be able to continue stocking up for the apocalypse future and now without having to deal with the crowds surrounding the sample tables.

While Costco has stopped offering free samples, you can still grab all the $1.50 hot dogs at their food court (for the time being).

For all the RedFlagDeals Costco shoppers out there, let us know what your recent Costco in-store experiences have been like in the comments below.

39 Comments

    • I noticed too. Was at elgin mills around 3 and not a single stand.
    • Report Post
    • I'm guessing it's a prevention thing regarding Covid.

      TP seems to be on sale. People are scared that they will be stuck at home and don't want to make unnecessary trips to the store, which includes TP.

      All I can say about this is.... wash your ass.
    • Report Post
    • ronnielarmond wrote: I went to costco and theres no free samples!!! omg when are they bringing them back?

      also why are people buying toilet paper and tissue paper
      Doesn't everyone need a one year supply? lol
    • Report Post
    • I went to get gas today at Costco and talked to an attendant for a bit, he said that they have suspended the free samples because of the virus concerns.
    • Report Post
    • I haven't noticed anything of that sort in Winnipeg, when should I panic?
    • Report Post
    • jackrabbit000 wrote: The one in blue forgot her bra. The one in white, don't touch your nose!
      Gotta try those free samples!😂
    • Report Post
    • i actually don't mind. they should make it permanent.

      i hate people who just leave their cart in the middle of the walkway/aisle to get a sample and block everyone up.
    • Report Post
    • jackrabbit000 wrote: The one in blue forgot her bra. The one in white, don't touch your nose!
      Yep, looks a little nippily in that Costco.
    • Report Post
    • ronnielarmond wrote: I went to costco and theres no free samples!!! omg when are they bringing them back?

      also why are people buying toilet paper and tissue paper
      High traffic. Too many samples will be taken. cleanliness issue as well and i guess they need as much space as possible. Ive noticed some crowding around sample stalls before so they are probably just implementing crowd preventing measures.

      The TP has made me laugh and throw up at the same time. Saw a couple fill up their van with kleenex and tp at freshco. Its funny how we've been told relatedly to wash our hands with soap and water, but on the other hand they refuse to give up on the TP and start cleaning their booty with actual water. Lets clean our hands with tp as well.
    • Report Post
    • problemchild786 wrote: High traffic. Too many samples will be taken. cleanliness issue as well and i guess they need as much space as possible. Ive noticed some crowding around sample stalls before so they are probably just implementing crowd preventing measures.

      The TP has made me laugh and throw up at the same time. Saw a couple fill up their van with kleenex and tp at freshco. Its funny how we've been told relatedly to wash our hands with soap and water, but on the other hand they refuse to give up on the TP and start cleaning their booty with actual water. Lets clean our hands with tp as well.
      Are you the guy that showers after every poop? How do you clean your ass in the shower? With your bare hands?
    • Report Post
    • CallMeHank wrote: Are you the guy that showers after every poop? How do you clean your ass in the shower? With your bare hands?
      Purchase bidet from Costco online, silly.
    • Report Post
    • shikotee wrote: Purchase bidet from Costco online, silly.
      I've used lots of types of washlets.... They can't clean 100%... Always need to wipe after or will leave streaks..
    • Report Post
    • Starting when?
      I was there this Friday and they were serving samples
    • Report Post
    • :facepalm:
      WTF is wrong with these people? They forgot their most important piece of protective gear! Their foil hats! All that protective gear for nothing. Don't they know coronavirus will make it's way from around the world via radio waves from the government? I don't even see them stocking up on Alcan.
    • Report Post
    • Frankie3s wrote: What gets me about people like this is that they're so worried about a virus yet they neglect their own health in general. Overweight, lack of exercise, obesity, diabetes, the virus is more than likely the least of their concern. Probably at the food court now scarfing down a box of fries and a 20 pack of wings with double sauce as we speak.

      Wouldn't be surprised if she had a diaper back there as well.
      It's hard to tell if the one in blue is even overweight, might just have large breasts. I just posted the reddit pic, which someone else posted in another thread on RFD, to point out the one in white has a food sample in her hand. That's so dumb lol!

      That being said,
      Some overweight people have medical conditions that make it hard for them to maintain a healthy weight.
      A lot of times it comes down to mental health.(Past trauma, going thru a rough time, etc) Being self-aware and having effective ways to cope is important.
      Having a proper support system is one way to cope. But when things start to snowball and pickup momentum, they go downhill quickly and it's hard to stop.
      Having the right knowledge that's right for you. How many times have I read online, here even, where people debate what loses you weight or builds muscle, etc. If it doesn't work it's easy to get discouraged and quit when your mental health is sub-optimal.

      If it were simple and easy we'd all have a healthy weight, right? It can't be easy for any of them. Point I'm trying to make is be less judgey, try to build some empathy in yourself and then you may find yourself being more supportive to them or anyone in any situation.
    • Report Post
    • CallMeHank wrote: Are you the guy that showers after every poop? How do you clean your ass in the shower? With your bare hands?
      I actually know one of these... Couldn't tell you what he does though lol and that's not just because of the virus he just does that always lol
    • Report Post
    • Good! It will keep those families who go to feed their entire family going from one sample to another and then walk out of the store with a carton of milk. Move along, move along.
    • Report Post
    • Samples should be the least of your worries. Stay out of high traffic areas. I.E. Costco!
    • Report Post
    • Typical over reaction. Heard the same thing happening in Markham Costco locations. The TP situation is quite funny as well. Already seen equal amounts of returns on them as people walking out the doors with it. Perhaps Costco should institute one per customer to put an to this nonsense. Anyway, I lived in Japan, where public toilets do not have TP. You have to use your own tissues which are handed out en masse at each train station. Also many Middle Eastern cultures do not use TP, even when residing here in Canada. I have two co-workers who use a bucket and water.
    • Report Post
    • Went to Costco yesterday on my day off- it was JAMMED. Never seen that on a monday.
      0 Lysol wipes and 0 toilet paper. It was insane.

      ps. no samples (not that id take any tbh)
    • Report Post
    • ericlewis91 wrote: Im happy shes buying ranch dressing... great to have on hand!
      Goes great with the toilet paper she probably hoarded before.
    • Report Post
    • Still free samples in Puerto Vallarta
    • Report Post
    • CallMeHank wrote:
      Are you the guy that showers after every poop? How do you clean your ass in the shower? With your bare hands?
      Not beinf a dick, but if you have feces or mud on your hands, do you use paper towels/toilet paper to clean it up, or give your hands a good wash?

      Bidet companies are slacking with their marketing. Pretty much the whole world is using it.
      kaboom987 wrote: Went to Costco yesterday on my day off- it was JAMMED. Never seen that on a monday.
      0 Lysol wipes and 0 toilet paper. It was insane.

      ps. no samples (not that id take any tbh)
      Pain killers cold meds are all gone as well.

      The people who really need the meds the most wont be able to get it.
    • Report Post
    • Image
      What keeps Costco executives up at night is the thought of all the returns should this virus blow over anytime soon.
    • Report Post
    • Yep, but over at thornlea ice cram has gone to $2.29 plus taxes...$2.40☹️
    • Report Post
    • CallMeHank wrote: Are you the guy that showers after every poop? How do you clean your ass in the shower? With your bare hands?
      you twirk?
    • Report Post
    • At my local Costco, I noticed the sample people have a new role now that they've suspended the sample program, they are wiping down display surfaces and carts.
    • Report Post
    • If Costco starts pulling BS like that I will cancel my sub.
    • Report Post
    • Flowster wrote: If Costco starts pulling BS like that I will cancel my sub.
      So you'd rather have one of them infect you so you can have your free sample?
    • Report Post
    • People forget that Costco is based in a Seattle suburb, pretty much the area where a nursing home is the center of a major outbreak of COVID-19. I'm not surprised that they freaked out and started measures like washing cart handles and eliminating free samples, because at the headquarters they're all scared of themselves or their relatives catching the virus.
    • Report Post
    • Mars2012 wrote: At my local Costco, I noticed the sample people have a new role now that they've suspended the sample program, they are wiping down display surfaces and carts.
      Unless somethings changed in the last year ...
      The “Sample Crew” are not Costco Employees
      They just are folks who are fulfilling a 3rd Party Contract
      Hired as “Product Demonstrators” ... same sort of stuff that happens @ Trade Shows
      The crew work on a day to day basis ... hourly wages
      No benefits
      No guarantees

      https://ca.indeed.com/cmp/Costco-Wholes ... monstrator
      This company was a subcontractor of Costco. Every day we must meet in the office and gather all the information and the necessary elements for the sampling of the products. The best part of the job was learning about new products, meeting people and practicing the language. The worst part was standing for long hours, without receiving payment after having sold the designated product in the middle of the working day.
      I worked for a company called PWD, not directly for Costco but worked inside Costco. The job was demeaning and customers were rude. Good for a first job, but not in long-term. Management was alright, although they had no say in most things (everything came from head office).
    • Report Post
    • PointsHubby wrote: Unless somethings changed in the last year ...
      The “Sample Crew” are not Costco Employees
      They just are folks who are fulfilling a 3rd Party Contract
      Hired as “Product Demonstrators” ... same sort of stuff that happens @ Trade Shows
      The crew work on a day to day basis ... hourly wages
      No benefits
      No guarantees

      https://ca.indeed.com/cmp/Costco-Wholes ... monstrator
      I know they aren't employed by Costco...I'm acquainted with one of the receipt checkers and she told me that the company was hired to do this instead of samples while that restriction is in place.
    • Report Post
    • Mars2012 wrote: I know they aren't employed by Costco...I'm acquainted with one of the receipt checkers and she told me that the company was hired to do this instead of samples while that restriction is in place.
      Ok, interesting
    • Report Post