Why It's So Hard To Find Fresh Herbs At Costco

Shoppers seeking large quantities of their favorite household goods turn to Costco, a warehouse retail chain known for providing items in bulk. However, Costco fans on Reddit are flummoxed by the lack of fresh herbs available at the store. After a shopper complained that they couldn't procure fresh basil from their local Costco, a commenter stated that the fragility of fresh herbs likely had something to do with it.

"It's not really something the average person buys [or] uses in bulk and it spoils fairly quickly?" replied the commenter, with another chiming in that the chain might face difficulty selling fresh herbs in bulk to retail customers. Remember that Costco initially focused on business customers, such as restaurants in need of large quantities of ingredients to serve their diners. The chain eventually expanded its business model to include shoppers seeking goods for their households, and these members desire slightly different products as compared to business customers. This could explain why fresh herbs are hard to come by.

How long do fresh herbs usually last?

While Costco Wholesale locations don't usually have a huge selection of fresh herbs, customers can find quite a few dried herbs, spices, and other seasonings at the store. Dried herbs have a lengthy lifespan in many cases, often lasting from one to four years without decreasing in quality. That makes dried herbs a great buy at Costco, as one container can last years without going bad. Unfortunately, this is not the case with fresh herbs.

The lifespan of fresh herbs varies according to how they're stored. In the refrigerator, fresh herbs may last up to three weeks. In the freezer, you may be able to keep fresh herbs for a few months. If stored outside of the refrigerator, you basically have a few days to use herbs before they decrease in quality. While finding fresh herbs at many Costco locations is unlikely, they're often present in Costco Business Centers. However, accessing one of these locations is easier said than done for many shoppers.

How do Business Centers differ from Costco Wholesale?

Like Costco's original model, Costco Business Centers primarily focus on business customers, although any Costco member can shop there. While both establishments sell items in bulk, volumes at the Business Center tend to be a lot larger to accommodate its customers, and prices are often lower. For instance, a 36-count pack of Kirkland brand hot dogs is just around $18 at the Business Center.

The major downside of Costco Business Centers is that there are a lot fewer of them as compared to Wholesale locations. Only 12 states, including Texas, California, and New Jersey, feature Business Centers. Additionally, it's most often located in urban areas, which means members who live outside of large cities may need to travel quite a distance to access the closest Business Center.

While fresh herbs are not readily available at most Costco locations, shoppers can make do with the store's many other bulk products. As stated by one Costco member on Reddit, "When I'm desperate, I crack open a jar of Kirkland pesto."