About the Vanilla Crisis

There are 24 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Rice.

  • You didn't know there was one? Well, there is, and if your ice cream addiction is in any way as hopeless as mine, you will suffer in the future.


    Some months ago, my all-time favorite premium ice cream, the Costco house-brand vanilla, went missing. The store's people were no help: "Sometimes things disappear. They don't tell us anything." I called national customer support. They didn't know, but they suggested I call the head regional buyer and gave me the number. (Costco actually believes in customer support, and actually talking to the customer is part of that.)


    Left a message, assumed there'd never be an answer, but ... ! Within an hour, got a call from the head buyer for the Southeast US, who told me that she, too, was suffering an ice cream withdrawal crisis. Seems that Costco had made the decision to suspend production in the face of an unprecedented vanilla shortage. She noted that prices had skyrocketed, but worse: quality of available vanilla was bad. Costco, which does not market crap, ever, sadly withdrew the product.


    That happened about six or eight months ago. Today I found this.

  • Your post immediately caught my attention ..... as I luv vanilla ice cream AND Costco!

    I couldn't live anywhere that did not have a Costco ...... or at least one within a couple hours driving distance.


    As for where I live (Reno, Nevada) Costco still sells Vanilla Ice Cream but he price continues to go UP. As of 1 MAY 2018 it was selling for 13.99 USD -

    two carton pack (which is a gallon).


    One other thing you mentioned that is so very true of Costco (and is practically a "lost art" when it comes to most businesses):

    (Costco actually believes in customer support, and actually talking to the customer is part of that.)

  • ... and your post caught mine, as I was led to believe that the product withdrawal was nationwide.


    Is the ice cream in your Costco branded as Kirkland, Humboldt, or other?


    It’s a long three-day drive to Reno, but if I start early ...

  • ... and your post caught mine, as I was led to believe that the product withdrawal was nationwide.


    Is the ice cream in your Costco branded as Kirkland, Humboldt, or other?


    It’s a long three-day drive to Reno, but if I start early ...

    When I go to Costco on 1 JUN 2018 I will look at the ice cream ..... but I think the container says "Humboldt", as I remember reading info on the package last time I purchased it as stating the ice cream was from the Humboldt Creamery.


    As for the "availability" of this particular ice cream - it may OR may not be available when I go in June.

    At the Reno Costco there is a saying: 'Here today, gone later today'.

  • When I go to Costco on 1 JUN 2018 I will look at the ice cream ..... but I think the container says "Humboldt", as I remember reading info on the package last time I purchased it as stating the ice cream was from the Humboldt Creamery.


    As for the "availability" of this particular ice cream - it may OR may not be available when I go in June.

    At the Reno Costco there is a saying: 'Here today, gone later today'.

    That motto is nationwide.


    Another clever corporate policy is that, when customers learn the location of a popular item, move that item to some obscure place in the store - apparently they hate restocking things, and if customers can’t find it ...


    Where else can you combine your wine merchant and fashion consultant ... and buy new tires on the same trip?

  • That motto is nationwide.


    Another clever corporate policy is that, when customers learn the location of a popular item, move that item to some obscure place in the store - apparently they hate restocking things, and if customers can’t find it ...


    Where else can you combine your wine merchant and fashion consultant ... and buy new tires on the same trip?

    " 'Another clever corporate policy is that, when customers learn the location of a popular item, move that item to some obscure place in the store - apparently they hate restocking things, and if customers can’t find it ... ' "


    Sometime ago - quite by "accident" - I had the pleasure of speaking with a young employee of Costco while we were both waiting at the Bus Stop by Costco; he had been working for Costco since moving to Reno.


    Our conversation got around to the subject matter relating to what you stated above.

    He told me that Costco management deliberately moves items around to different areas because that will make Costco Members "search" for whatever item they want .... and in doing so there is the distinct chance that the Member will notice something that he or she had either never seen before, OR until now, never gave it a second thought that maybe that item is something they should have! And that of course increases sales!

  • And who doesn’t love a good game of hide & seek when dropping into a gigantic retailer to make a quick purchase?

    You have this wrong. You drop into Walmart hoping - praying - that today, somehow, can be the day that you remember exactly where the masking tape is, find a roll within three minutes of entering, try to appear not to be sprinting to the shortest checkout line to beat the woman trailing three kids with a cart filled to the top with on-sale clothing items, and by some miracle are back in your car in less than fifteen minutes elapsed time. It won’t happen, but that’s your hope.


    Costco: enter, glancing at the electronics, check out the clothing on the left - should you pick up a couple of tee shirts? - serpentine your way through the wine (NOT going to buy more than three bottles! Damn! Had to get that Chilean, and that makes six!). Need a bag of avocados, right! My god, look at those steaks! Well, if we have them three days in a row I can justify buying six, I guess. Mmmmm! Fajita samples here - damn those things are good! Oh right, paper towels - that’s why I came. But wait; got to try this little cup of flan. Wow! Maybe a box of that?


    Costco is not a “gigantic retailer.” Going there is part of your reward for a life well lived.

  • Gee, I never realized that Costco was more than just a huge place selling items in large quantities. So it is the very apotheosis of a commercial enterprise? (Cue heavenly music...🎼)

  • Who cares about the price? This stuff is so good that any price below that of diamonds is okay (well, maybe uncut diamonds if we’re being picky).

  • I weep at the unfairness of it all.


    And suffer mightily while trying unsuccessfully to find an acceptable substitute.

    "And suffer mightily while trying unsuccessfully to find an acceptable substitute."


    YES! And there is NO "acceptable" substitute that I am aware of.

    There is an ice cream company in Oregon who makes "premium" ice cream; yes, it is better than others in the "mass market" category -

    but it stretches a bit the word "premium".


    I have always believed that the products - food and non-food items - at Costco are superior to all other stores.

    I have had people tell me they are not members of Costco because of the "expensive membership".

    But when one opts for spending less at "regular stores" compared to Costco, those individuals are sacrificing quality;

    and the poor fools don't even realize it!


    Ahhhh .... the sheep gladly are herded towards the "cliff" ..... and tumble over into the abyss!

  • How about chocolate?

    Apparently I communicated very badly if I gave the impression that flavor was the issue. CruiseJunki has it right: Costco, although known popularly as a discount warehouse business, is actually a purveyor of high-quality products, first and foremost. Their ice cream is legitimately of super premium grade. Here’s what that means. Read especially the first review.


    And it’s gone now. Oh, woe!

  • I'm clearly missing something here. Does Costco sell ONLY vanilla? Meaning that ice cream is no longer available in your store? Or is it that your love affair is with vanilla only? I went back to try to read every clue in this thread, but my eyes glazed over.

  • I'm clearly missing something here. Does Costco sell ONLY vanilla? Meaning that ice cream is no longer available in your store? Or is it that your love affair is with vanilla only? I went back to try to read every clue in this thread, but my eyes glazed over.

    They offered only one house-branded ice cream product: a box containing two half-gallon tubs of super-premium vanilla ice cream.