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What You Didn’t Know About Costco’s $5.99 Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie season is upon us, and Costco has you covered.

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Pumpkin pie with swirls of whipped cream on decorative plate. Whole pie in soft focus in background. Macro with shallow dof.Marie C Fields/Shutterstock

It’s a lot of pie

When it comes to its offerings, Costco tends to go big, and its pumpkin pie is no exception. Each pie measures a full foot in diameter and weighs in at 58 grams—that’s more than three and a half pounds! If you’re serving a hungry crowd on Thanksgiving, this mega-pastry provides more than enough bang for your buck. Especially if you feel that cooking Thanksgiving dinner is hard enough and you don’t want to stress about dessert, consider adding it to your list. For just $5.99, you’ll get all the pie with none of the stress of buying, blending, and baking ingredients.

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Fresh pumpkin cut in pieces of a oven tray covered with herbs and spices.Alina Zamogilnykh/Shutterstock

Once just isn’t enough

Every piece of pumpkin that goes into Costco’s pies gets cooked not once, but twice. The chunks of pumpkin get cooked once before they’re pureed, and then a second time after canning. According to the Daily Meal, the pureed pumpkin cooks for a full five and a half hours before it’s pie-ready. And it’s a lot of pumpkin. Every gallon-sized can of puree shipped to Costco contains the contents of three pumpkins! Costco certainly doesn’t skimp on the pumpkin.

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orange pumpkins at outdoor farmer market. pumpkin patch. Copy space for your textEvgeniiAnd/Shutterstock

The pumpkins are grown in the U.S.A.

Illinois, to be exact. The Midwestern state, which actually provides the vast majority of all of America’s pumpkin crop, has just the right soil and weather conditions to produce the perfect pumpkins for decadent fall desserts. Costco uses a variety called Dickinson pumpkins for all of its pies—the same type used in Libby’s pumpkin products. As for the other ingredients that combine to produce the perfect pie, the recipe is comfortingly simple. Totally free of preservatives, the pies contain eggs, water, and a dry mix of ingredients like sugar and spices in addition to the twice-cooked pumpkin puree. These are the Kirkland items you should always be buying at Costco.

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A pumpkin pie with a slice cut out. Horizontal format on a rustic wood table. Steve Cukrov/Shutterstock

They’ve been around a while

Costco’s bakery has been producing pumpkin pies, using the same recipe, since 1987. This fall will be the 31st year that the pie has brought joy to hungry givers of thanks. Back then, the pies were ten inches; today, they’re 12. Other than that, they remain the same. The recipe comes straight from the kitchen of Sue McConnaha, the vice president of bakery operations at Costco.

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Close up of beautiful young woman's hands holding mobile smart phone sitting in cafe with cup of coffeetaramara78/Shutterstock

It gets lots of love on social media

One thing that has changed about the pie since 1987: its social media presence. Facebook has an entire page called “Costco’s Pumpkin Pie,” started by fans and unaffiliated with the Costco corporation, that’s devoted to singing (er, posting) the praises of the pie and even sharing memes about it. Check out these surprising things Costco employees won’t tell you.

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pumpkinDenise-Torres/Shutterstock

They’re a gift that keeps on giving

Three pumpkins for every gallon of puree leaves behind a lot of seeds. Happily, though, the seeds don’t get thrown out—according to The Costco Connection, the canning facility sends the seeds to a bird feed company!

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costco bakeryTrong Nguyen/Shutterstock

Business is booming

With their deliciousness, size, and affordable price, it’s no surprise that these pies fly off the shelves. Costco sells upward of 5 million pies every year, at least 1.5 million of which are purchased the week before Thanksgiving. Last-minute Thanksgiving shoppers, be warned: According to Taste of Home, the bakery has even sold out of them before closing on the day before Turkey Day. If you find yourself in Costco this season, consider picking one up—if only to see what all the fuss is about. Next, don’t miss these 15 more things you probably aren’t buying from Costco—but should.