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Dec 31, 2012 09:21 AM

The Costco Thread - new products, old favourites, interesting items

I see that BC has a "costco" thread that gets updated with food related things. Thought it would be great to have one for Ontario as products as different across regions.

I really like that Costco often carries food that isn't available at normal grocery stores. I try to limit my "new items" to one or two per shopping trip but that is often difficult!

I really enjoyed the Mountain Harvest flat breads they had but they got rid of them. I have lately been buying the "Extreme Pita" ancient flat breads (last two times I was there) and they are pretty good.

Some great cheeses lately too, I will post more details once I have tried the cheeses.

Feel free to post about kitchen gadgets/etc that may be a good deal at Costco.

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  1. My local Costco is selling Kawartha Dairy's Moose Tracks, Vanilla and Candy Cane ice cream right now.

    The week before Xmas, my Costco had refrigerated jars of shucked oysters in brine for $7.99, which are great for fried oysters. My jar contained 9 huge oysters.

    I tend to stock up on chevre, Cambozola and gruyere at Costco. I like Balderson Cheddar, but I wish Costco would carry smaller 1 or 2 lb packages of Balderson Cheddar.

    I also like the Fontaine Sante hummus and baba ghanouj better than most commercial brands.

    4 Replies
    1. re: prima

      I love Costco's Kirkland 0% MF Plain Greek Yogurt, but not as much as I love Skotidakis Yogurt, but Costco only has the latter with the individual portion fruit flavoured size and I prefer to put my own sliced whole fruit in.

      1. re: Flexitarian

        Slightly OT: I don't understand why so few companies make single-serve plain Greek yogurt. I would buy so much!

        1. re: piccola

          I've noticed that they keep increasing the amount of "fruit". I think this is because Greek style yogurt is actually expensive to make, while the pseudo fruit jelly they add costs close to nothing. I'd like to see some more flavours and less fruit options.

        2. re: Flexitarian

          I get it at the North York Costco on Billy Bishop Way north of Yorkdale Plaza.

      2. The Kirkland Pesto Sauce has undergone a massive change of ingredients. Instead of mostly basil flavours, it is now mostly cheesy (and not good) and extra garlic tones. And extra salty.

        It tastes and feels radically different. Price is about the same, and they now claim that you can freeze it -- unlike before. That may have inspired the change. The also claim it has Genovese DOP blend of basil and oils.

        Anyway, I don't like it and I will not be buying it again.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Dean Tudor

          Update: I checked my bills, the older, great pesto was $8.69, the newer version, less intense basil, is $7.99...seventy cents less for crud..

          1. re: Dean Tudor

            So it DID change!! I recently bought it in December and it seemed a lot more cheesy than I remembered from the last time I bought it (about a year ago). Like you, I will also not be buying it again.

          2. I like this thread!

            In my Costco they had a special kiosk for William Spartivento (Quebec company) coffee and they had Jamaica Blue Mountain (100% pure) and a blend. I tried both of them in addition to the Sumatra, Hawaiian, and the Costa Rica. The Jamaica Blue Mountain was really nice and reasonably priced for Jamaica Blue (still expensive relative to other coffees). I ended up picking up the Hawaiian and Costa Rica. Much better than other coffee beans at Costco and supermarkets!

            My Costco is also selling Kawartha's Dairy ice cream in all those flavours (Candy Cane and Moose Tracks). They have a huge crate of Medjool dates 1 kg for $7 and organic Calimyrna figs 1 kg for $6.

            The last Christmas leftover is a dark chocolate covered selection of dried fruits (cherry, blueberry, cranberry, mango, and dates) for $10 for 1 kg. It looks to be made in Ontario.

            12 Replies
            1. re: Nevy

              To help Everyman Jack, the Costco stores I go to are the Etobicoke and Heartland Mississauga locations. They have the same buyer. The buyer also takes care of Mississauga South Oakville location too.

              I'm thinking of heading to the Brampton Steeles location one day to check it out. They have a different buyer.

              1. re: Nevy

                How can I find out which buyer buys for which store?

                I was very excited to see this thread. I am a Costco newbie and assumed every store has similar stock. I still have yet to go through my local Costco thoroughly.

                1. re: mrsleny

                  We were talking to one of the long time associates (she was working at the front management since 1999) and she told us which Costcos have the same buyer. It sounds like South Mississauga/Oakville, Heartland, and Etobicoke are the same. Brampton and North York are possibly the same buyers (maybe Vaughn too?).

                  1. re: Nevy

                    Sounds like a regional thing. I am in Richmond Hill, so I'm assuming my local store and probably the ones in Markham have the same buyer.

                    Good to know. I will probably check out Vaughn and see if they have similar products.

                    I assume store layouts are all the same.

                    1. re: mrsleny

                      They have national buyers in Kanata and chain-wide buyers in Seattle. I would be surprised if a small buying group exists for Mississauga or Brampton. There is some individuality in a single location, left up to the manager, as in kosher products at Downsview.

                      1. re: jayt90

                        Perhaps the buyer group has focus markets (e.g. big metropolitans)? I do know that my friend in Calgary and Vancover gets completely different brands and options than the ones we get here in GTA. I'm still waiting for steel cut oats in mine (we only get the instant stuff) but both of the other cities have had them for years now.

                        They also have organic red cargo rice in Vancouver and we only have jasmine, uncle ben instant rice, an organic wild rice blend, and another rice that escapes me.

                        I'm just redirecting the information given to me by their front desk manager. I asked outloud about going to different stores for different products and she said there are differences in the sections of GTA (Brampton vs Mississauga/Oakville/Etobicoke).

                        1. re: Nevy

                          I can relate two vendor stories.

                          A Canadian BBQ sauce had to be produced in huge quantities for English Canada Costco, and there was an option of all Canada if the label was bilingual. The buyer in Kanata bought the product after it was sent to central office for tasting. The sauce company left after two seasons of poor treatment by the food demonstrators and other extra cost promotions.

                          Some Chowhounders with an interest in Montreal Smoked Meat were excited to learn that Dunn's MSM was being sold in 2 kg slabs in a few Costcos. I emailed the CEO of Dunn's to find out where. It was only at Ajax, Etobicoke, and Barrie, and that was Dunn's choice, to enter slowly and not get slammed. Later they supplied a lot more warehouses, and it apparently failed because of no promotions.

                          1. re: jayt90

                            I saw Dunne at both the etobicoke and Scarborough stores recently, like in the last two weeks.

                            1. re: LexiFirefly

                              In the slabs, or in the individually portioned bags?

                              1. re: Michael N

                                Individually portioned bags come in a box, at $15, in all locations, same product as at Food Court; they are fine for a quick snack, but you can't choose a lean or fatty piece, deckel or point, as you can when the shrink-wrapped large briskets appear.

                              2. re: LexiFirefly

                                Maybe it is back. Was it in slabs, cryovac'ed, at about $12/kg? Individually priced?

                                1. re: jayt90

                                  The slabs I saw at the Scarborough location. Just the portions at etobicoke. Also please pardon my autocorrect.

              2. Not to be snarky, but this thread would be much more helpful if everyone, instead of saying "my costco," actually said the specific store they were talking about.

                8 Replies
                1. re: EverymanJack

                  Sorry, EverymanJack.

                  The London, Ontario Wonderland Road North Costco is selling Kawartha Dairy's Moose Tracks and Vanilla ice cream. The London North location no longer has Kawartha Dairy's Candy Cane ice cream in stock.

                  The week before Xmas, the London North Costco had refrigerated jars of shucked oysters in brine for $7.99, which are great for fried oysters. My jar contained 9 huge oysters. As of today, no oysters were in stock.

                  I tend to stock up on chevre, Cambozola and gruyere at London and Toronto Costcos. I like Balderson Cheddar, but I wish Costco would carry smaller 1 lb packages of Balderson Cheddar. Currently, most Ontario Costcos carry a 500 g package of 5 year Balderson Cheddar. At the London North location, I noticed a striped 5 County cheese, as well as Welsh Cheddar(in a 1 lb package), and an Apple Pie Cheddar.

                  I like the Fontaine Sante hummus and baba ghanouj better than most commercial brands, that seem to be available at all Toronto and London Costcos I've visited.

                  1. re: prima

                    Prima, I'm sorry, I don't understand your weight scheme. One pound of Balderson Cheddar is just under 2 oz. less than 500 grams of Balderson Cheddar. There is not a lot of difference,

                    1. re: Dean Tudor

                      Sorry, I wasn't being very clear, Dean. I agree, the 2 oz difference between a 454 g pack and a 500 g pack of 5 year Balderson Cheddar isn't a huge difference, and I don't mind buying 500 g instead of 454 g.

                      There's usually a cheaper, younger Balderson Cheddar available at Costco that comes in a 1 kg package, IIRC. That's the one I wish came in smaller packages. Cheddar in my fridge starts to go moldy if I buy more than a lb/500g at a time.

                      1. re: prima

                        That';s ok, prima, I was just wondering...Cheese in my house never goes moldy --- because I eat too much of it and it is all gone once opened...

                        1. re: prima

                          if you are having an issue with cheese going moldy get yourself one of the vacuum sealers from costco , foodsavers the best, and cut up and vac seal your cheese i find my cheese lasts a long time this way also the foodsaver bags are thick so you can freeze in it as well.

                        1. re: prima

                          I went to Costco today and I saw they carried balderdon cheddar in individual snack packs! It's not a great value like the large block but it'll solve your issue about it being too much in one go!

                          I also saw the Mississauga North carry the Kerrygold Dubliner cheddar! I've heard great things about their butter. Anyone tried their cheese?

                          Also I bought the Phillipines dried young coconut bc of this thread. It's not bad. Chewy, moist, and light coconut flavour (in a good way). It's not artificial or overly sweet. It doesn't have the same addiction factor as the dried mango. The mango are sweet, tasty, and mind blowing (provided you didn't get an old dried out bag).

                          1. re: Nevy

                            I've tried the Kerrygold Dubliner and didn't like it. Actually I haven't finished it and it is still in the fridge. Mostly a matter of taste I suspect and you might like it.

                      2. The new Kirkland chocolate chips have quickly become a family favorite. Much better than the Nestle's they have carried for years.

                        Anyone try the Carrington Farms Coconut Oil yet? The price is fabulous.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Patrincia

                          I haven't tried the Kirkland chocolate chip but for baking, I've tried the Kirkland Vanilla beans and they're fairly good. They're not as good as the Vanilla food company (especially when buying in bulk) but if you only need 10 beans (or less), it's better than any store price and they're plump and fresh. It works out to $1/bean.

                          The Mississauga Costco also carries Ghiradelli Brownie mix and the Coconut oil. My friends swears by both of them. I hate using any mixes (and normally so does she) but she thinks these are really good. She uses the coconut oil in the brownies and says it comes out just as good from any scratch recipe.

                          1. re: Nevy

                            Do you know if she melts the coconut oil first or beats it in like softened butter? Thinking of making a brownie mix tomorrow.

                            1. re: Nevy

                              I second the Ghiradelli brownie mix! My teenage kids love it.