tiktoker says Costco Marinara sauce might be different

Juan Llauro/ShutterStock @jesstheprequeldoesmiami/TikTok (Licensed)

‘I won’t buy it anymore’: Costco shopper says Rao’s Marinara sauce changed, and the taste is ‘unrecognizable’

'This is an imposter.'


Marlin Ramos


Posted on Feb 1, 2024   Updated on Feb 3, 2024, 1:24 pm CST

Rao’s pasta sauce stans are not playing around. The Campbell’s Soup Company’s pending acquisition of the Rao’s brand has customers skeptical of the product’s quality although the deal has not yet closed. Customers are taking to TikTok to play sauce detective.

In a now-viral video, Jess (@jesstheprequeldoesmiami) gives a review of a jar of Rao’s marinara sauce they bought at Costco. Jess is appalled at the flavor of the sauce and insists it tastes nothing like the Rao’s sauce they’re used to. They even say the sauce tastes different when they buy it from Publix. They have someone who is presumably their partner taste sauce, and they agree.

“Babe, try it and tell me it doesn’t taste like Chef Boyardee ravioli. … It tastes so cheap, right? Right?” Jess asks.

“Dude, come on. What the f*ck? That’s terrible,” their partner says

“I know, like, Campbell’s took it over, but I swear, I just had the stuff from the supermarket, from Publix,” Jess responds.

The video has over 572,000 views and more than 1,700 comments.

@jesstheprequeldoesmiami Rao’s sauce used to be my favorite but I just bought some from Costco and it tastes horrible. Not like it expired, but it tastes like the recipe was changed completely, as well as the ingredients are now cheap. ##raoshomemade##raossauce##raosmarinara##italianfood##italianfoodlover##spaghetti##foodlover##foodwehate##foodtiktok##miamifood@@Rao’s Homemade@@Campbell’s Soup ♬ original sound – Miami Cougar

The news of the Campbell Soup Company buying Rao’s was announced in August of 2023. The announcement alone made many give up hope on their favorite Rao’s sauce right then and there. “Here comes the high fructose corn syrup,” one Washington Post article cites a customer saying when the announcement was made.

However, Campbell Soup Company’s CEO Mark Clouse told CNBC that the formula will be staying just the same.

“We’re not touching it! Anyone who thinks we’re going to touch the sauce, no,” says Mark Clouse.

Although the deal was expected to close in December 2023, some sources say that it is actually projected to close mid-2024. This would mean that the jar Jess opened from Costco should still be fair game and manufactured by the original company that owns Rao’s, Sovos. The comments section includes people debating whether or not the deal has closed yet, which tells us just how invested Rao’s customers are in this sauce maintaining its integrity and their close eye on that process.

If Campbell knows what’s good for business, they’ll keep Rao’s sauce exactly the same once the deal closes—unless they want an internet uproar.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Campbell Soup Company and Jess via email for comment.

Update 1:24pm CT, Feb. 3, 2024: Campbell’s Soup Company has confirmed to the Daily Dot that the deal has not yet closed.

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*First Published: Feb 1, 2024, 6:00 pm CST