Costco Stops Offering Free Samples Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

March 11, 2020

Hand sanitizer and toilet paper aren’t the only things the coronavirus is making hard to find at Costco.

The wholesale chain has suspended serving free food samples in its stores in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, reported People.

While the company has not officially commented if they stopped serving the free snacks at all locations, several have confirmed the new policy.

"Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, there are no food product samples,” a representative for Costco in Nashville, Tennessee, told “Today.

While outlets in California, Florida and Washington state also disclosed they were no longer offering samples and did not know when they would be again, according to USA Today.

The Instagram account @CostcoDeals, which shares news about special sales at the chain, also revealed they would halt the samples.

“Just got word, one of our followers is a sample person for CDS which is Costco’s vendor who does all the food samples and looks like they will not be serving samples for the foreseeable future,” they captioned the post. “Not sure if this is immediate and will effect all stores or will be a store by store basis.”

The news has hit Costco customers hard.

“You can cancel flights, sell out of hand sanitizer, and cancel events, but suspending Costco free samples? You got my attention how do we stop this coronavirus,” wrote a Twitter user.

“Covid-19 has officially hit me where it hurts,” added another.

“Costco samples have been suspended until further notice. Where am I supposed to get free lunch now?,” joked a third.

While fans are clearly disappointed they won’t be able to munch on free grub, it doesn’t appear like it will cause a decrease in customers anytime soon.

The chain has seen a 12% uptick in sales due to people flocking to its stores to load up on hand sanitizer, food, toilet paper and other supplies as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread.

Costco’s suspension of free samples is also just the latest in precautionary measures food companies and retailers have implemented in response to COVID-19.

Previously it was revealed Starbucks would stop the use of personal cups and tumblers, instead of paper cups, across all North American stores to help prevent the spread of the virus.

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