Costco Unveils Frozen Item Similar to Trader Joe’s Favorite

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Trader Joe’s is known for its cult-favorite frozen meals and products that often sell out or only run for a limited time.

Take its frozen kimbap, a Korean dish that consists of rice, vegetables, and fish or meat that’s rolled up in him (dried seaweed) and sliced up into pieces (somewhat similar to sushi). It went viral in the fall of 2023 as a frozen version of a popular Asian dish that is usually only prepared fresh.

Now, big box retailer Costco is hoping to cash in on the grocery chain’s success by selling its own version of frozen Kimpab. Listed as new on Costco’s website, the sliced fried tofu and vegetable Kimbap contains six 8.11 oz packs of food that vary in price based on location.

Related: Costco Cracks Down on Non-Members Eating in Its Food Court

The product is so popular that self-proclaimed sushi expert @photogami reviewed both Costco and Trader Joe’s dishes in a taste test. It’s garnered over 1.3 million views.

According to his observations, the Trader Joe’s rolls are larger than Costco’s, and the two have a similar flavor profile — he rated Costco’s an 8.2 out of 10 and Trader Joe’s an 8.0.

@photogami @Costco Wholesale Costco Kimbap vs Trader Joe’s Kimbap #costco #kimbap #traderjoes #koreanfood #thesushiguy ♬ original sound – The Sushi Guy

“For a frozen product, they’re both very delicious and they make great lunches,” said the Northern California-based creator.

In the comments, people shared their opinions on which was better, with many noting that the frozen dish is often sold out at both retailers.

“It looks like Trader Joe’s is handmade while Costco looks like machine-made because of the tightly packed rice,” one user suggested.

“My daughter is allergic to onions, and for me that the main difference,” another explained of the difference between the two. “TJ’s doesn’t have any onion!”

Related: Trader Joe’s Accused of Ripping Off Smaller Food Brands

Over on Reddit, users alleged that the Costco version of the kimbap was only available on the West Coast for now.

Meanwhile, in an investigative report last month, some small food brands told the food publication Taste that they believe Trader Joe’s copied their products.

Costco did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur‘s request for comment.



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