Guest Post: A Visit to Costco in Korea

March 16th, 2011 · 14 Comments

Do you ever wonder what Costco is like in other countries?  Or is that just me because of my Costco love?  I’m really fascinated by the different products they have, if the store is laid out the same, and what the Food Court is like.  Luckily, we can all get a peek into what Costco Korea is like via a couple of great posts on the blog Lucy’s Seoul.

Lucy’s Seoul is written by (shockingly) Lucy, who has been in Seoul for just a few months since December 2010.  She’s working at Seoul National University and is nice enough to share lots of great information, pictures, and fun aecdotes about her time in Seoul with all of us.  Since she grew up in California, and apparently spent her childhood shopping at Price Club/Costco with her parents, she too has a deep love of all things Costco.  Here’s what she told me about going to Costco Korea:

Chocorooms at Costco Korea

I was born and raised in California, and grew up going to Costco all my life (I’m 25 now). I’ve been going to Costco here in Korea about once a week, sometimes just to relieve some stress by looking at new stuff and of course taking in a sample here and there. Also, visiting Costco here kind of makes home seem closer, since the ambiance is the exact same… just more Korean products!  I just went to Costco last Friday, and they replaced the berry smoothie with a pineapple smoothie. Interesting!!

You’ll have to read all of her posts about Costco to get all the details.  However, I’ll give you a few hints:  they have lots of US products, just like here in the UK, but also have lots of cool Korean products like ‘chocorooms’ which are mushroom shaped cookies with chocolate top (yum!), and cereal that looks like the stuff in the US (even made by Post) but with different characters on the boxes and of course the product information isn’t in English either.  And then there’s the Food Court, which as always is shockingly American, but with the addition of the Bulgogi Bake.  They even have pizza and churros!

So, enjoy living vicariously through Lucy and reading the fun Costco in Korea posts and check out some of the other great posts about things like Pizza Hut, Corn Ice Cream, and you have to check out her very first post in January about the very impressive cake designs.  Here are the links to all of the Costco posts:

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14 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Allison // 2013.01.20 at 7:29 pm

    What we need in Korea is hummus. Hummus isn’t available anywhere in Korea and it would be a huge seller at Costco.

    • 2 David // 2013.01.20 at 7:47 pm

      There is hummus in Itaewon in the “Foreign Market” and probably the other foreign markets there. bon appetit!

    • 3 Allison Louise Turner // 2014.01.17 at 3:35 pm

      David, the price of the hummus in Itaewon is about $5 for a small cup of homemade hummus that may or may not be spoiled. If Costco in Korea carried Sabra hummus, or any other brand, it would make a world of difference for those who live in and shop in Korea.

      • 4 Allison Louise Turner // 2014.01.17 at 3:56 pm

        There would be a large market for hummus, especially in Seoul, among the growing expat community, including those who are from the Middle East and SE Asia.

  2. 5 Vivien // 2011.04.24 at 4:21 pm

    Chocorooms are fantastic! I buy them for work and they disappear almost instantaneously =P

    They’re available at the Alhambra, CA location for $11.99 for a pack of ten boxes and they’re actually made by the Japanese candy company, Meiji. They usually retail for about $3-4 a box at asian markets so this is a great deal!

    They also carry bulgogi bakes at the Alhambra Costco.

    • 6 Kimberly // 2011.04.28 at 3:09 am

      @Vivien – Next time I’m in that area, I am going to have to look for the Chocorooms at Costco!

  3. 7 Fred // 2011.03.22 at 11:36 am

    I don’t visit my “home and native land” of Canada as much as I like. I have lived on Long Island for many years now, and I go to Costco at least once a week. There is a Costco just north of the border on the way to Montreal which I have wanted to explore for a few years, but we were always driving past at the wrong time, or we were in a hurry, etc. When I finally got the chance last year, I was interested as you are to see the differences. For one thing, the book table was almost entirely in French. I might have expected more English-language books so close to Montreal, but I guess they stock what sells in the neighborhood. I bought a couple of cases of candy that were different from what we have in the U.S. (made by Nestle or Ferrero/Kinder). The kids always love that! In the food court, they had all the U.S. favorites, plus 1/4 lb hamburgers, and poutine (a French Canadian fast food made from french fries, cheese curds, and gravy). The condiments provided included jalapeno peppers, I guess because they like their hot peppers up there too. Now I have another reason to be sad about living so far away. At least it was fun to visit.

  4. 8 David Reis // 2011.03.16 at 9:58 pm

    I just moved back to L.A. after living in Seoul for close to 2 years. I will attest to the fact that much of what’s sold at Costco is the same as in L.A. It was always a comfort spot when nasty McDonald’s or KFC got old. Also, they sold a lot of comfort foods, like Cheerio’s, avocados, Pace Salsa, tortillas, Dr. Pepper, and various other unhealthy things that are very hard to find in Korea (except in Itaewon, the foreigner area of Seoul which saved me from going mad during my extended stay). The pizza was exactly like US Costco. I also got used to putting the offered Tabasco on it, as they don’t have red pepper flakes in Korea. They also carry a lot of things from other regions, like European/Asian items, that can’t be found here. I guess I should be thankful for American capitalism for this one…

  5. 9 Emily (Bentobloggy) // 2011.03.16 at 8:08 pm

    Great guest post! It’s so cool to see this.

    I have to mention that a few months back we got a new beef bake in the food court along with the original (yummy) chicken bake. It is NOT good. Not good. They put pico de gallo inside and it becomes all soggy. Blech!

  6. 10 Nabeela // 2011.03.16 at 12:10 pm

    We have chocorooms at San Jose, California Costco too :)

  7. 11 Clarice // 2011.03.16 at 10:55 am

    Costco looks good in a Korean suit. I can just taste that bulgogi bake!

  8. 12 Hyun // 2011.03.16 at 10:32 am

    Wow…your pictures look great! I’m Korean, and I’ve visited Costco in Seoul before. It’s crazy from parking; sometimes I waited for an hour for a parking space. You seem like having more experiences than I did in Korea(I’m in El Paso). I’ve never had Gu-Jeol-Pan or Sin-seon-ro before. I also went to SNU for my graduate school. Have a lot of fun in Korea.

  9. 13 Lucy // 2011.03.16 at 8:22 am

    Thanks Kimberly!!!

  10. 14 Kristine // 2011.03.16 at 6:56 am

    Yeah–the food court here in Australia has the Bulgogi bake as well. The bulgogi is sold in the deli area for cooking at home, too, and is very yum! Churros would be great here! Alas, you can get a meat pie Down Under, anyway. :-)

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