Kirkland customer buys new laundry pods.

@tessahyland1/TikTok Alfonsodetomas/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Costco wholesale got some explaining to do’: Kirkland customer buys new laundry pods. She can’t believe what they look like

'It’s very possible they concentrated it more heavily for the new pods.'


Phil West


Posted on May 6, 2024

A Costco customer who bought new Kirkland-brand laundry detergent pods made what she’s positioning as a concerning discovery that feeds into ongoing shrinkflation narratives.

The video comes from TikToker Tessa Hyland (@tessahyland1), getting more than 1.4 million views as of Monday, covering her exploration of old vs. new that originally posted on Friday.

In it, she explains that she had bought a new 152-pack drum of laundry detergent pods, favoring Costco’s in-house brand, and noticed something looked a little different with the new pods. So she compared the two, filming for posterity.

“Can you see that?” she exclaims, holding up the two packets side-by-side, with the newer one appearing to be slightly emptier than the old one.

At the end of the video, she reveals that the newer one appears to be, as she says with full questioning intonation, “A quarter empty?”

When one commenter to the video suggested, “Weigh them on a food scale,” granting, “Looks like one might just be more inflated?” she did just that via a Part 2 video.

Is Costco selling you less for the same price?

After taking some time to silently regard both pods in that video—leading one impatient commenter there to confess, “The way I yelled PUT IT ON THE SCALE!”—she weighs one then the other. The old one? It weighed in at 0.84 ounces. The new one, by contrast, tipped the scales at an underwhelming 0.725 ounces.

Of course, that led to allegations of shrinkflation, which a March 2024 New York Times article describes as “downsizing products without downsizing prices,” maintaining that it’s nothing new.

As the Daily Dot has been attentive to lately, TikTokers are spotting what they depict as incidents of shrinkflation found in the wild, including Old Spice body wash, Glad trash bags, Girl Scout cookies, and Kraft Mac and Cheese.

Costco touts that the pods are designed for high efficiency washers, adding in its online description that it uses “Patented Catch & Release Technology® to isolate dirt and stains, and wash them away before they re-deposit into laundry.” The info also claims that the 152 pods measure up to 127 ounces total, which would be 0.835 ounces a pod.

At the weight Hyland’s food scale showed, 152 of the new pods (assuming they were uniform) would only total 110 ounces.

Some commenters shared in Hyland’s outrage, but one suggested that it might not be an intentional ruse to swindle consumers.

“It’s very possible they concentrated it more heavily for the new pods. Less water = less weight = less shipping costs.”

@tessahyland1 And you KNOW they were the same price 😠🧺 @Costco Wholesale you got some esplaining to do 🫠 #laundry #laundrytok #laundryroom #laundryrestock #detergent #kirkland #costco #costcofinds #costcotiktok #costcobuys #costcofail #fail #fails #fy #fypage #fypシ゚viral #fyppppppppppppppppppppppp #fypp #fypツ #fyppp ♬ original sound – Tessa Hyland

But that comment got pushback, with one observing, “It looks even lighter in color like it’s less product and less effective.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Hyland via TikTok direct message and to Costco via online media form.

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*First Published: May 6, 2024, 7:05 am CDT