Costco customer pointing to menu with caption 'the cheese pizza has 60 more calories than the pepperoni pizza' (l) Costco pepperoni pizza (c) man speaking with caption 'logically you would think that the pepperoni pizza would have way more calories' (r)

grandbrothers/Shutterstock @sidemoneytom/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Are we being lied to?’: Costco’s cheese pizza has more calories than pepperoni pizza, baffling customers

'Hold up. That’s for ONE slice?'


Jack Alban


Posted on Nov 21, 2023   Updated on Nov 21, 2023, 3:44 pm CST

This post contains descriptions of calories.

In a recent TikTok video that attracted the eyeballs of 163,000 folks, TikToker Tom (@sidemoneytom) raises an intriguing question about the calorie count of Costco’s pizzas, sparking a flurry of responses and debunking efforts from the online community.

TikTok is known for its endless stream of entertainment, but every so often, it becomes a platform for curious minds like Tom’s to delve into somewhat benign, everyday mysteries. Tom’s video, titled “make it make sense,” does just that by questioning the calorie content of Costco’s cheese vs. pepperoni pizzas.

The caloric conundrum

In the video, Tom expresses sheer bafflement.

“Ever noticed about how at the Costco food court, the cheese pizza has 60 more calories than the pepperoni pizza?” he questions, pointing out the logical inconsistency, as one would expect the pepperoni pizza, being a cheese pizza with added pepperoni, to have more calories.

He points to a sign in the Costco food court that has a $1.99 slice of cheese pizza listed at 710 calories, while the slice of pepperoni pizza for the same price is 650 calories.

“But I get it. A lot of you guys will say the cheese pizza has way more cheese on it. That will easily make up for all those calories, even though from experience, they’re both very cheesy,” he says.

“Based off of their photo, I count 10 pieces of pepperoni on every single slice when the cheese has none,” he says.

He then dives into a detailed calculation, doing the very important work of considering the amount of cheese and the caloric value of pepperoni. He concludes that each pepperoni is about 20 calories. “That means that each slice of the pepperoni is going to have at least 200 more calories of pepperoni that the cheese doesn’t have,” he says. He says that even if there was “half as much cheese on the pepperoni pizza, it wouldn’t make up the difference.”

“So I have to ask, are we being lied to?” he questions.

@sidemoneytom Make it make sense #costco #foodcourt #pizza #food #court #fyp #foryou #hotdog #chickenbake ♬ original sound – SideMoneyTom

The internet weighs in

The comments section quickly became a hub for theories and insider information.

One user suggested the type of cheese might be the key. “It’s probably because they add a hard cheese to the cheese pizza but no hard cheese to the pepperoni,” they theorized.

“I think those pepporoni calories are way off,” @klinky1984 said, pointing to the calories of notable brands like Hormel and Gallo. A Hormel pepperoni is 10 calories, according to its package. A Gallo pepperoni is almost 16 calories.

And if this one TikToker is to be believed, there is simply more cheese on the cheese pizza. Problem solved. 

“I used to work in the costco food court. they make the cheese pizza with like double the cheese they use on the pepperoni,” a TikToker who claimed to be a former Costco food court worker said.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Costco via email and to Tom via TikTok.

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*First Published: Nov 21, 2023, 7:00 pm CST