I visited Costco in Sydney while vacationing in Australia and was amazed at the fresh meats and the bulk quantities that were massive even by US standards

Costco has 14 locations in Australia.

Richard Truong

Richard Truong is a software engineer in Pennsylvania who has been a Costco member since 2016.
On a recent trip to Australia, Truong visited a Costco warehouse near Sydney to see the differences.
He found an impressive meat selection and bulk sizing that was massive “even by US standards.”

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Richard Truong. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

I work as a software engineer in Pennsylvania right now for a large insurance company, and I’ve been a member of Costco since 2016. I started taking lots of pictures of the signs and the prices because that’s how I would budget my food expenses in college.

After checking out Costco on a recent trip to Japan, I traveled to Australia to visit family and also because Sydney’s one of the most well-known Australian cities.

The Sydney Costco is about an hour west of town and I actually went to it accidentally.

I had gotten on a bus that I thought was headed downtown, but instead it took me an hour in the other direction, so I figured I’d just drop by this warehouse.

The first thing I noticed was the food court was right outside.

Richard Truong

I think maybe in Southern California they sometimes have outside food courts, but this was the first time I’d seen one.

A lot of the items were huge – even by US standards.

Richard Truong

Inside, there were actual barrels of vegetable oil that you can buy, and a lot of the items were just way more massive than I usually see in the US.

There was also a giant bucket of Chupa Chups lollipops for 184 Australian dollars, or about $118 US.

Richard Truong

The small containers had 150 pops, while the jumbo bucket had 1,000.

These assorted KitKat flavors were a popular souvenir when I was in Japan.

Richard Truong

There were unusual flavors like tiramisu, strawberry cheesecake, and creme brûlée that I’d never seen in the US.

There were a few familiar products in the electronics section.

Richard Truong

These laptops were from US brands like HP and Dell.

There seemed to be more products geared toward commercial customers
than I typically see.

Richard Truong

There was lots of stuff that a business would buy, like contractors’ tools, an “Open” sign, and a Square credit card terminal.

Appliance-wise, it was pretty much the same as what you see in the US.

Richard Truong

Common brands I saw were Whirlpool and Samsung.

There was the familiar Tiger rice cooker.

Richard Truong

I’ve seen the same one in Japan and the US.

The bakery had these items called chocolate lamingtons.

Richard Truong

They’re basically sponge cake covered with chocolate and coconut.

They had a cheesecake with lemon passion fruit on top that I’d never seen.

Richard Truong

Usually the cheesecake is topped with strawberries in the US.

The meats were mostly local and they looked good. Very fresh and pretty massive.

Richard Truong

If I’d had a hotel room with a kitchen, I would’ve actually considered buying some because they looked pretty good.

There were some meats that weren’t cut.

Richard Truong

You could buy a large portion of pork belly to process yourself.

A three-pack of these sashimi-grade rock lobsters cost 500 Australian dollars, about $320 US.

Richard Truong

There was also Japanese Wagyu strip loin for 300 Australian dollars per kilo.

There was a new employee who was walking around, and even he seemed surprised by how large the food was.

Richard Truong

He was just picking up random stuff from the freezer, like 18-counts of meat pies or 50-counts of chicken breasts, apparently amazed at the quantities.

There were cases of this Australian ginger beer that is pretty popular.

Richard Truong

Some locations in the US sell Bundaberg too.

The Smith’s chips are actually from a US company.

Richard Truong

 If you notice the logo, it’s similar to Lay’s, PepsiCo’s leading chip brand in the US.

Clothes were pretty similar to those sold in the US.

Richard Truong

I saw Nike, Adidas, Calvin Klein, and more.

I knew Costco sold coffins but I’d never actually seen them displayed.

Richard Truong

I always thought it’d be funny to buy a coffin from Costco – just to say I did. They looked nice, you know, for coffins.

They didn’t accept cash in the food court, so I had to use my credit card.

Richard Truong

Since Australian currency was actually a bit lower than ours, everything you see was basically 25% off if you used American dollars.

The food court had run out of the mango smoothie because it was actually closing time, so they gave me a taro tea instead.

Richard Truong

It kind of tasted like grape yogurt, and was still pretty good.

I got the chicken burger and the Korean wings to eat.

Richard Truong

The chicken burger was actually a bit smaller than the bun, which was kind of disappointing, but it still tasted good — crispy and fresh. The wings were breaded and came with a special sauce that was pretty good, too.

If I come back to Australia, I’d want to stay somewhere with a kitchen so I can cook.

Richard Truong

I’d try the steak and the lamb, plus get a few bakery items like the Portuguese tarts – they’re very delicious.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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