Costco Just Raised Prices on These 2 Beloved Items
Your next trip to the warehouse retailer could wind up costing you a little more.
Costco has developed an intensely devoted fan base for everything from its extensive inventory of items to the free samples you can enjoy while perusing the aisles. However, the warehouse retailer is arguably most beloved for the incredible deals and low prices it makes available to members. But as record-high inflation continues to weigh heavily on stores everywhere, the company has been forced to revisit how much it charges for certain products. And now, Costco has just raised prices on two popular items. Read on to see which purchases will cost you more on your next run to the wholesaler.
READ THIS NEXT: Costco Just Sent Out This Major Warning to Shoppers.
Costco has recently weighed the idea of changing its membership prices.
For many, one of the reasons to love Costco is its reliability in everything from its shopping experience to what's available on the shelf and how the company prices items. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the store went to great lengths to ensure customer safety while still providing some normalcy by setting up home delivery services, limiting the number of people allowed into stores, and providing special hours for high-risk individuals up until this past April. But like any business, the store is sometimes forced to make changes that can affect customers to maintain its bottom line.
Recently, Costco floated the idea that it could raise the cost of its annual membership required to shop at the stores, Fortune reports. The idea came about thanks to the retailer's usual timeline of bumping up the price every five to six years, with the last increase in 2017 that saw Gold Star and executive member fees jump by $5 and $10, respectively. However, executives with the company said they had not yet decided whether or not to stick to the regular timetable.
"Given the current macro environment, the historically high inflation, and the burden it's having on our members and all consumers in general, we think increasing our membership fee today ahead of our typical timing is not the right time," Robert Nelson, senior vice president of treasury for Costco, said on the company's earnings call last month.
Now, it appears the retailer is making smaller changes by marking up certain popular items in stores.
Costco just raised the price on two popular items at its stores nationwide.
Of all the store's offerings, the Costco food court stands out as one of the many highlights of the shopping experience, thanks in no small part to its unbelievably low prices. But now, customers who've worked up an appetite pushing their carts will have to shell out more when they go to eat after the retailer started charging more for two popular food items it sells in the beloved concessions stand, Insider first reported.
Costco has increased the prices on the popular bacon and cheese-stuffed chicken bake at the food court by $1 to $3.99 and on 20-ounce sodas from $0.59 to $0.69, representing a jump of 33 percent and 17 percent, respectively. The changes were confirmed by calls to food courts at other locations, with employees citing a national price update, Insider reports.
Costco's price increases appear to match inflation rates on the items themselves.
The latest price change comes even as Costco has avoided hiking up the cost of other products in its aisles. According to pricing tracker service Numerator, grocery prices were up 14.5 percent versus the yearly average as of the four-week period ending on June 19. This is up from the 7 to 8 percent increase recorded at the beginning of 2022.
But even as the warehouse retailer brings up prices on the two fan-favorite food items, they still appear to be in line with trends. According to Wells Fargo, soda prices have increased 13 percent compared to last year, while chicken wing and breast prices are up 38 and 24 percent, respectively, per Insider.
Executives assured customers that one iconic menu item would not be seeing a price change anytime soon.
Even before the retailer announced the latest food court changes, devoted Costco customers have been openly fretting that the cost of the store's iconic hot dog would suddenly lose its bargain status. But executives recently tried to put rumors to rest that there would be any such increase.
"The price, when we introduced the hot dog-soda combo in the mid-'80s, was $1.50," Nelson said on the company's May 26 earnings call. "The price today is $1.50, and we have no plans to increase the price at this time."
Apparently, dedication to the famously cheap meal runs deep within the company's highest ranks. According to Insider, current Costco CEO Craig Jelinek once proposed a price hike of the hot dog combo to company founder Jim Sinegal, who frankly replied, "If you raise the [price of the] hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out."
And the tactic appears to have worked out well for the company. In 2019, the store was reported to have sold 151 million of the beloved meals for a total of $226.5 million, according to Insider.