Roasted seaweed snacks have become very popular in recent years. You can now find them in most grocery stores, including Trader Joe’s and you no longer have to visit Asian markets to buy them. Kids bring them for snack or with lunch to school and eat them like chips.
I want to say prior to 2013 (when Costco started selling jumbo size packs of Kirkland Brand Seasoned and Roasted Seaweed Snacks), Costco started carrying small packs of Korean brand roasted seaweed snacks. They sold so well that Costco researched and started selling larger packs under their private label – Kirkland Brand. This Kirkland brand seaweed packs were generous size with about 30 sheets of seaweed per pack – a staple in our household.
This week, when I went to buy the seaweed snacks, I noticed that Costco changed suppliers again. This time it was organic gimMe (“gim” is Korean for seaweed, so a nice play on words) Roasted Sesame Seaweed Snacks. The package says “sesame” but it’s mostly roasted with a mix of sesame oil, no visible sesame seeds on the snacks. Organic is a nice touch, Kirkland brand also briefly had organic packs but they didn’t last long. Possible supplier issue perhaps. The biggest difference is that the pack sizes went down by more than 2/3!!! It’s just 10 sheets vs. previous 30. That’s going from 17 grams to 5 grams, .6 oz to .17 oz. Cleverly they noted .17 oz to previous net weight of 17 grams on the package. It’s such a visible difference that most people will notice the drastic reduction in the size.
As for taste and flavor, the new packs are good and kids like them. I want to say the Kirkland brand was thicker. The smaller packs are easier to pack for school, which I like. However, you will eat about 3 packs vs. the old 1 pack. The new gimMe packs are also certified Non GMO and USDA Organic certified. Certified organic by Quality Assurance International – an entity authorized by USDA. Since seaweed grows in the ocean, I’m not sure how you can add chemicals or genetically modify them…… Unless they grow seaweed in aqua-culture farms I guess. The old Kirkland Brand seaweed packs were also made with non-GMO oils, so not sure what is going on.
I wish Costco sold both kinds of roasted seaweed packs. Maybe they are having some supply issues and Kirkland Brand will be back soon. Sometimes, Costco pushes the supplier so hard they just can’t keep up with the demands from the tough Costco buyers. Trust me, they work super hard to get you the best deal possible. Good news is that they are both Products of Korea, the home of roasted seasoned seaweed (vs. plain nori) and Psy. It’s hard to know the original supplier for the Kirkland Brand, it just says “Imported by Costco WholeSale Corporation”. The new gimMe brand says “manufactured for GIMME health Foods LLC.” Another good news was that these new gimMe packs were on coupon with $3 off per pack. I picked up 2 packs and may go back for more. Original price-wise I think they are the same $7.99 each (West Coast), so basically we are getting 1/3 of the portion in organic for the same price. I got mine at my local Issaquah Costco, next to their corporate headquarters in Washington state.
What do you think of the new Costco gimMe seaweed packs? Please leave a comment via the link above near the title. Enjoy.