The Possible Reason Costco Added Water Bottles To Your Delivery Order

The dog days of summer are here and Costco shoppers are starting to notice a subtle change in their food delivery orders. Unannounced and unexplained, some Costco online orders have started arriving with some frozen bottles of Costco's Kirkland brand water which are sometimes sealed in a plastic bag. It's difficult to ascertain just how widespread this practice is but customers have noticed them primarily in orders that contain either food items that need to be kept cold or items at risk of melting in the hot summer heat during transportation, such as chocolate.

Frozen water bottles are an excellent substitute for bagged ice in your cooler and always have been, so it's no surprise that the people preparing the delivery orders would reach for a bottle or two to ensure freshness. What is surprising is that this practice veers away from Costco's typical preference for packets of dry ice to keep things cold. Some customers report receiving both dry ice and frozen water bottles together in the same package so it doesn't appear as if the Costco warehouse is running out of dry ice and simply opting for the next best thing. It's not even entirely clear if the practice of using frozen water bottles is sanctioned by the company, though their frequency would suggest it's not against company policy to use them.

Are frozen water bottles a good way to keep groceries cold?

There hasn't been a widespread survey of how Costco food deliveries are arriving, which means there's not much data on the topic. Rumors and hearsay are as official as it gets. All the same, it is interesting to note the various ways companies are adjusting to the rising demand for grocery delivery. Dark stores where customers aren't even allowed in the store are an extreme example of the grocery delivery trend — they're delivery only. While this type of grocery market does have its upsides, proper packaging of perishable foods continues to be a problem that needs a better solution. The amount of packaging material required to deliver, say, a bag of frozen fish filets strikes us as highly wasteful both from an economic and environmental perspective, so there's definitely room for improvement.

We wouldn't go so far as to call Costco's frozen water bottle trick unprofessional, but for a company as large as Costco it does look a little haphazard. Especially when the water bottles leak and ruin the groceries they're intended to protect. We aren't trying to throw too much shade since this doesn't appear to be all that common and accidents do happen, but it does highlight the potential need for a better system.