As food costs continue to soar due to inflation, Costco has hiked the prices of two items at its beloved food court: the chicken bake and 20-ounce soda.
News of the price change in the food court items went viral after a TikTok user uploaded a video on Monday of a Costco employee switching the chicken bake price banner. Many users were left heartbroken by the price hike, with most expressing concern that the hot dog and soda combo would meet a similar fate.
“As long as the hot dog is 1.50 I can accept this sacrifice,” one user wrote.
“The Costco hot dog will carry us through these tough times,” another user commented.
The video has garnered over 242,000 likes and 3.5 million views since being uploaded.
In Los Angeles County, several Costco locations have raised the price of the chicken bake from $2.99 to $3.99 and the 20-ounce soda from 49 cents to 59 cents, reported the Los Angeles Times.
Costo employees were caught off guard by the price changes.
“I was surprised, ‘cause they never do increases on the items,” Costco food service worker Georgina Gomez told the Times. “Once they’re out, that’s usually the price they keep.”
The price increases were also confirmed at various Costco locations in New York, where workers stated that it was a national update, reported Business Insider.
Rumors circulated earlier this year that Costco would be increasing the price of the beloved hot dog and soda combo, which has remained $1.50 since the mid 1980s. The chain’s senior vice president, however, responded to the rumors and reassured customers that “We have no plans to increase the price at this time.”
Costco’s president W. Craig Jelinek once complained to the company’s co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal that Costco was losing money on the hotdog and soda combo. In response, Sinegal famously stated:
“If you raise [the price of] the effing hot dog, I will kill you,” he said. “Figure it out.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Costco also hiked its chicken prices by over 17 percent in May, reported Business Insider.
The Labor Department reported last month that U.S. consumers were being hit with an 8.6 percent increase in prices, a new 40 year high. Between April and May, prices increased by 1 percent, with gas prices being the largest contributor.