Main own plant-based brands
Vegan options in its food court menu.
No plant-based products in own-brand.
- Costco is the second-largest retailer in the US, and has a steadily growing international presence, including in Australia, Canada and most recently in China. Around 32% of their total revenues comes from food, sundries and fresh food. In North America, they are one of the largest meat buyers. The company sells more than 90 million rotisserie chickens each year in the US, which according to news articles are a major traffic driver for instore purchases. In addition, the company has just begun its own poultry processing business in Nebraska which processes around 100 million chickens annually. The company is therefore highly exposed to animal proteins.
- Compared with previous years, Costco has expanded its external range of plant-based offerings in response to consumer demand. However, unlike peers, we found limited innovation in its own brands.
- The company doesn’t show any indication that it is working to reduce its risks in meat supply chains (beyond organic farming). There is no discussion on Scope 3 emissions (or water impacts) linked to its extensive meat and dairy footprint. The company has not committed to performing a scenario analysis.
- We would encourage the company to broaden its sustainability focus on animal proteins as well as build a more strategic plan to transition its product portfolio to ensure any exposure to animal proteins is in line with a low-carbon strategy (through, for example, category-based targets). Its current meat-intensive portfolio exposes it to both reputational as well as transition risks linked to a high-carbon product portfolio.
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