Costco is known for it's quality and extremely competitive prices. Their medjool dates are very cheaply priced, but I felt compelled to do a side-by-side of our medjool dates vs the medjool dates you will find at your local Costco. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Costco does carry two varieties - deglet noor pitted dates and Medjools which come with the pit. I conducted this comparison a day after purchasing from a Costco in Southern California.
Now starting off we keep our dates under climate control up until the point of shipping. The Medjools we found in Costco were in ambient temperatures which already put theirs at a disadvantage. Here is a picture of our 1lb bag and Costco's 2lb bag. Now where Costco really beats us up is on price. You can't just beat the cost. However after you take into consideration shipping and convenience...we still think we are comparable. Our 2lb bag sell on our site for $15.50/lb. Costco's dates are $4.50 a pound. Major difference in packaging is ours is airtight and theirs is not.
As we open the dates from Costco you can start to see some serious skin separation and crystallizing going on. Now it's important to note that this does not take away from the dates taste. Only texture and visual appearance is affected by crystallization and skin separation. The issue that we found is our customers do not like consuming dates that are visually unappealing, so we really try to make sure when sorting that we weed out the dates that we feel don't stack up to visual quality.
The main problem with purchasing dates from a large big box retailer is just the supply chain. The amount of time these dates took to get from the garden to the sales floor had to be pretty long. Obviously I have no way of validating how long it took these takes to get from garden to sales floor. But, looking at appearance one would assume they took the long route.
You can see on a side by side the difference. Now I know what you are thinking..."he took the best out of the pack" and you would be wrong. These were the first 5 medjools we took out our 1lb pack. Like we said, we are pretty proud of our dates.
Next we cut them open and took a taste test. You can see the date on the left has been subjected to more heat then the one on the right. From a taste standpoint the texture of the Costco was as we expected, extremely soft and not holding texture very well. We like a consistent chew all the way through the date. The medjool date on the right had a nice chewy bite followed by consistent texture.
Our suppliers go through a lot of sweat equity to provide quality dates and we do our best to ensure they get to your door in the most ideal condition possible.
We love Costco and their products. These dates could have been sitting for awhile, but the pictures don't lie. We looked on the Costco website and it appears you cannot purchase these dates online, so they look like a brick and mortar purchase only.
If you are looking to buy Medjool dates online, give Whole Fresh Dates a try.