No, Costco Is Not Offering PB&Js At Its Food Court

Costco is probably the only place in the world where you can get a hotdog and visit an optometrist at the same time. You cannot, however, get a PB&J at the food court.

In case you missed it, it all started with a post on the r/Costco subreddit. "Spot the new food court item" read the caption above a photo of a convincing menu panel allegedly spotted at a store in South Bakersfield, C.A.: PB&J for $2.99. Per the viral photo, the offering appeared to be the classic peanut butter and strawberry jelly on white bread. Exciting news for Costco shoppers, right? Not exactly.

As the PB&J post's top comment (which received 1.3k upvotes) pointed out, "$3? That isn't very 'Costco' of them." Other commenters joked that for $3 by Costco standards, the sandwich should at least come with a glass of milk. Some Redditor foodies were a little outraged by the photo, noting how a slice of pizza with a soda cost less. But, all the outrage was in vain: The photo isn't real.

Costco fans demanding cheap eats

When reached for comment, store associates at the Bakersfield location confirmed that the store was not, in fact, selling PB&Js. The original poster u/DCGA3 admitted to photoshopping the image as a practical joke (and they did a pretty knockout job of it, too). It makes sense that fans who were fooled would get riled up about the price. Food is a big deal to Costco members, and not just because the joint is a grocery store. Such a change would arguably undermine the reputation of affordability the brand has cultivated.

Costco fans regularly line up for free samples, and rejoiced when the retailer brought back samples in 2021 as pandemic restrictions eased. Even as record-high inflation rocked consumer pocketbooks last summer, Costco firmly vowed to keep its ¼-pound dog and 20-ounce soda combo at $1.50 — the same price charged since the combo was first introduced in the mid-1980s. Co-founder Jim Senegal told The Seattle Times in 2009, "We are known for that hot dog. That's something you don't mess with."

Costco's iconic food court is part of what incentivizes shoppers to shell out $60-$120 for a membership every year. Other budget-friendly offerings include the $4.99 rotisserie chicken and a whole cheese pizza for $9.99 — which might be why the PB&J inspired such an intense fan response. Recently, Costco debuted a real new menu item, a hefty roast beef sandwich that garnered controversy of its own. Why? It's priced at $9.99, the same price as six Costco hotdog combos.