Study Finds Picky Eating in Adults Linked to Lack of Childhood Exposure to Costco Samples

A recent study coming from Stanford University has found that there is a strong, direct correlation between picky eating as an adult and one’s lack of exposure to free samples at Costco as a child.


“Historically, eating habits are instilled at a young age from home,” says lead researcher Dr. Nell Hong, “But until this study, we never knew how much those free samples given out at Costco played such a direct hand in encouraging kids to try new foods.”


Indeed for the study, researchers interviewed thousands of self-proclaimed “picky eaters,” many of whom either did not grow up near a Costco, or did but never went with their parents and were not forced to traverse every aisle for bulk deals, subsequently trying all the various samples of new food items.


“When we saw those statistics, it was a ‘ding, ding!’ moment,” said Dr. Hong, “Without having a regular location that consistently provided a plethora of different, free snacks, many children just never developed an adventurous, ‘Why not?’ attitude when it came to foods like italian meatballs or mini hot dogs in a blanket, resulting in a narrow palette as they got older.”


“Going to Costco was a staple of my childhood,” said participant Chloe Lower, “It was boring as hell watching my parents get excited over a 24-pack of Chobani yogurt, but there were always all those free samples that exposed me to so much more. To this day my life motto is, ‘I’ll try anything once, as long as it’s handed to me in a little white cup.’”


Dr. Hong told reporters that she hopes the results of this study could also lead to breakthroughs in fixing picky eating in adults.



“It’s much harder to change behavior in older individuals than it is to shape behavior in children, but we remain optimistic that the childlike wonder and amazement when it comes to exploring all the samples at Costco will still translate to adults new to the retail warehouse.”


Dr. Hong has a right to remain optimistic as at press time, she was showing a group of picky eaters around Costco, who were seen eagerly accepting tiny cups of baba ganoush for the first time.