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Strategy We compared Costco's hugely popular food-court pizza to Sam's Club's — and the winner is clear (COST)

Costco and Sam's Club food courts both serve pizza. But which bulk retailer makes the best?

  • Published: , Refreshed:
Costco's pizza was far superior to Sam's Club's. play

Costco's pizza was far superior to Sam's Club's.

(Hollis Johnson)

  • Costco is technically one of the largest pizza chains in the country, and Sam's Club isn't far behind.
  • Both chains' food-court pizzas are extremely popular with shoppers.
  • We compared both and found Costco's to be substantially more satisfying.

At one of the largest pizza chains in the Unites States, you can buy a slice of cheese pizza, a $4.99 rotisserie chicken, and a casket.

No, Domino's doesn't have that kind of variety; it's Costco, which happens to be the 14th largest pizza chain in the US by number of locations. There are over 700 Costco stores, and therefore, over 700 food courts selling piping-hot and melty pizza. And warehouse retail competitor Sam's Club isn't that far behind, with over 500 locations in the country.

They both serve a lot of pizza — but which bulk retailer's pizza is the best? We decided to try both to find out:

Costco's pizza is remarkably cheap: $1.99 a slice, and only $9.95 for a whole 18" pizza — either cheese, pepperoni, or the "combo," which is essentially a supreme-style pizza.

Costco's pizza is remarkably cheap: $1.99 a slice, and only $9.95 for a whole 18" pizza — either cheese, pepperoni, or the "combo," which is essentially a supreme-style pizza. play

Costco's pizza is remarkably cheap: $1.99 a slice, and only $9.95 for a whole 18" pizza — either cheese, pepperoni, or the "combo," which is essentially a supreme-style pizza.

(Hollis Johnson)


The slices are enormous. They barely fit on the full-size paper plates, with the cheesy points flopping off the edge. It's large enough to be unwieldy when you pick it up — napkins are highly recommended.

The slices are enormous. They barely fit on the full-size paper plates, with the cheesy points flopping off the edge. It's large enough to be unwieldy when you pick it up — napkins are highly recommended. play

The slices are enormous. They barely fit on the full-size paper plates, with the cheesy points flopping off the edge. It's large enough to be unwieldy when you pick it up — napkins are highly recommended.

(Hollis Johnson)


The cheese slice is expertly browned, and the crust is floppy yet not soggy. It's certainly difficult to eat, but it's worth it. The cheese is salty, greasy, and thick, and the tomato sauce beneath is lightly sweet. Overall, it's a good slice: unwieldy, but cheesy, salty, and extremely filling.

play

(Hollis Johnson)


Now, on to Sam's Club's pizza. The pricing is a tad different: a pizza slice and fountain drink combo costs $2.49, and a whole 16" pizza costs $8.99. Costco clearly already has the price advantage going into this.

Over at Sam's Club, the hot-dog combo costs the same. play

Over at Sam's Club, the hot-dog combo costs the same.

(Hollis Johnson/Business Insider)


Sam's Club was serving pepperoni on the day I visited, so I grabbed a slice. The slice doesn't seem as large as Costco's, but it's still substantial. And 12 pieces of pepperoni is nothing to scoff at, surely.

Sam's Club was serving pepperoni on the day I visited, so I grabbed a slice. The slice doesn't seem as large as Costco's, but it's still substantial. And 12 pieces of pepperoni is nothing to scoff at, surely. play

Sam's Club was serving pepperoni on the day I visited, so I grabbed a slice. The slice doesn't seem as large as Costco's, but it's still substantial. And 12 pieces of pepperoni is nothing to scoff at, surely.

(Hollis Johnson/Business Insider)


But the pizza itself is rubbery and chewy, and a Mississippi River's worth of grease flows off it every time you pick it up. It's not a terrible slice, but its mediocrity isn't worth the price.

But the pizza itself is rubbery and chewy, and a Mississippi River's worth of grease flows off it every time you pick it up. It's not a terrible slice, but its mediocrity isn't worth the price. play

But the pizza itself is rubbery and chewy, and a Mississippi River's worth of grease flows off it every time you pick it up. It's not a terrible slice, but its mediocrity isn't worth the price.

(Hollis Johnson/Business Insider)


Costco's pizza is by far the best: a lower price point, more options, and a tastier slice.

Costco's pizza is by far the best: a lower price point, more options, and a tastier slice. play

Costco's pizza is by far the best: a lower price point, more options, and a tastier slice.

(Hollis Johnson)