Costco plans to bring back samples after suspending the free snacks due to coronavirus pandemic

Costco plans to bring back samples after suspending the free snacks due to coronavirus pandemic

Costco plans to start bringing back its legendary free samples next month with some changes.

The retailer suspended its popular samples in its wholesale clubs in early March over safety concerns with the spread of the coronavirus. Consumers mourned the smorgasbord of free snacks on social media, which was one of the first programs to be cut as the threat of COVID-19 grew.

But during Costco’s quarterly earnings call Thursday, officials said they were targeting a mid-June return of the freebies.

“We’re going to start doing some things in mid-June on a slow rollout basis in sampling,” Costco chief financial officer Richard Galanti said. “I can’t tell you anymore, but needless to say it’s not going to be where you go and just pick up an open sample with your fingers.”

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Galanti said samples of food and non-food items are popular along with Costco roadshow special events. He called both “things that we can do to get people excited about coming in.”

More menu options also are returning to Costco food courts.

“We’ve added some, but not all the items back as of now,” Galanti said.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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