First Vegan Haul at COSTCO
Costco is an American company offering membership-only warehouse shopping. With warehouses all throughout Japan, they are known to offer an increasing line up of plantmilks, frozen fruits, veggies, veggie burgers and meals, and lots of international brands. I made a list of my first ever haul to get an idea of the available products and prices!
After a couple of years of consideration and asking friends for their opinions, we finally plunged and got a Costco membership - hoping to not only find interesting new Vegan products, but also that buying in bulk will save costs and packaging materials. Next to larger volume for e.g. fruits and veggies (bye-bye single-wrapped broccoli from the supermarket), Costco also uses reusable bags and used carton boxes, rather than single-use plastic bags.
Members can now also shop online (limited line-up), and delivery seems to be free.
Our first visit to Costco was quite an experience - it can be quite overwhelming as EVERYTHING is big. The warehouse, the products, the parking lot, the carts..!! My biggest doubt was whether a membership would be "worth it" as we live quite far away. I tried to find recent, specifically-vegan hauls online to get an idea of the prices, but couldn't find many (some on Youtube!).
I am therefore sharing my haul, hoping it may be of interest to some of you!
*Note: This haul was at the Zama branch. Products may vary between warehouses
Frozen Açai packs, 8pc.
Natural, unsweetened. Delicious in smoothies/smoothie bowls Cheaper than the Acai at my nearest Kaldi - which is sweetened.
Vegetable Burger Patties, 8pc.
Lentil & Carrot Burgers. Vegan label. Gluten free. Haven't tried yet.
Vegan label. No salt added, No additives, Gluten Free. "Pimp your Paella!" - this friends needs some love. I added quite a lot of spice and chilies, but it still was underwhelming. It has 2 more servings, so will try alternative ways to level it up! ￥1,198 900g (6 servings)
Tuscan Risotto with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
Vegan label. No salt added, No additives, Gluten Free.
Haven't tried yet.
￥1,158 900g (10 servings)
Kirkland Vanilla Soy milk I'm in love. ￥1,780 946ml, 12 packs
Organic Oats Milk
USDA organic, 20g oats per serving. I'm in love x2
￥1,468 946ml, 6 packs
Kirkland Unsweetened Almond Milk Finally an affordable almond milk! Great base for smoothies
￥1,598 946ml, 9 packs
Shelled Hemp seeds Non-GMO certified (Canada).
SO delicious and nutritious! and a lot cheaper than I've found so far. ￥1,798 793g
Frozen Apple Mango YES!! super sweet
Perfect for those açai smoothie bowls... ￥1,448 2.27kg
Madama Green Olives
Quite delicious. Not as good as the juicy/meaty ones from e.g. Seijo Ishi (but at ￥600-700 per small pack that's incomparable)
Unfortunately, still a lot of plastic here. But as they also come in plastic in the supermarket, more volume means less individual/small lot packaging.. And finally found Brussels sprouts!
Broccoli, 3pc. ￥498
Brussels Sprouts , 680g ￥368
Carrots, 2kg ￥328
Garlic, 907gr ￥698
Red Onions ￥399
Still Water Roxane, 500ml For the emergency backpack...
￥630 35 bottles
Corona Beers The only Corona welcome at our house. Corona beer is vegan confirmed by Barnivore
￥5,118 24 bottles
Address: Costco has 26 warehouses throughout Japan, from Hokkaido to Kyushu
Food: Everything from fresh veggies, bread, deli, to non-foods incl. cleaning products, clothes, electronics and furniture.
Service: Lots of guidelines and lots of staff to enforce them. Staff knows how to "move things forward", without being rude. Note that they check for membership cards at the entrance and check your cart/bags/receipt at the exit.
Location: Even if you're in walking distance... how are you getting all those purchases home?!
Overall: It was a nice shopping experience at THE Costco we've considered for so long. Some things are definitely worth the trip (hemp seed, milks, frozen fruits), others I'll have to compare with my local supermarket. I have a good feeling so far and think this will help me buy more consciously (less trips to the supermarket) and divide my spending between bulk at Costco and supporting my local veggies/tofu store, rather than the big supers! ❤