A Handy Guide to Costco’s Shrimp Cocktail Options (Platter vs Tray)

The Costco Shrimp Cocktail, available as both a tray and in platter size, is a decent value and highly convenient.  This review is going to look at what you get with the meal, how things taste, serving suggestions and value.

Please note that if you want to buy the party platter then you will need to make your order a day in advance.

Costco Shrimp Cocktail with Horseradish Sauce and Lemons


Let’s take a closer look at what you get with this tray of shrimp.

The shrimp has the following ingredients:

  • Cooked Shrimp
  • Cocktail Sauce
    • Water
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup
    • Tomato paste
    • Vinegar
    • Horseradish
    • Salt
    • Corn Starch
    • Onion
    • Garlic
    • Preservatives
    • Caramel Color
    • Natural and Artificial Flavors
    • Spice
    • Pectinase
  • Lemon Wedges

The cocktail sauce might taste delicious but is loaded with high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and artificial flavors.

Shrimp Cocktail Ingredients

Party Platter Details

If you want the Party Platter of shrimp cocktail then you will need to order it a day in advance.

To make your order you need to go to the Party Platter kiosk that is located near the coolers holding the prepared Take and Bake meals.  There are order forms at the kiosk and you will need to complete one and drop it into the box.

If you need the platter TODAY then your best bet is to buy three of the 1.3 pound individual trays.  This will give you almost the same amount of food and you can create a platter on your own when you get home.

Party Platter Order Kiosk at Costco

Along with the shrimp, the platter comes with three containers of cocktail sauce and two whole lemons that are cut into quarters.

The Party Platter comes with almost 4.5 pounds of food and will serve 20-24 people.  Currently the shrimp cocktail party platter costs $39.99.


There are a few tricks to serving the shrimp, especially if you have ordered the Party Platter.

The main thing you need to do is keep the shrimp cold and the easiest way to do that is to serve it on ice.  One approach is to put the shrimp in a large bowl and place the bowl into a larger bowl holding ice.  Another approach is to fill a serving dish with ice and arrange the shrimp directly onto the ice.

You will want to have a set of tongs available so people do not have to grab the shrimp with their hands.

Lastly I will suggest cutting the lemon quarters in half.  When there are only eight lemon wedges people are reluctant to use them as they don’t want to be “that person” who took too much.  When you cut the wedges in half you will now have 16 pieces of lemon that are perfect for “individual size” and are much more likely to be used.


Taste Test!

The shrimp is fully cooked, peeled and deveined with the tail still attached.  I really appreciate that the shrimp is peeled and deveined as that is just one less thing that I need to do!

The quality of the shrimp is acceptable but not amazing.  The shrimp are on the smaller size and do not have the fresh from the sea flavor you get from truly fresh seafood.

When I was reading up on these shrimp from other Costco customers it sounded like the cocktail sauce is “hit or miss” as Costco changes suppliers every now and then.

Some people suggest adding more horseradish to the sauce or to use a healthier sauce.  I tried these shrimp with the cocktail sauce provided and Primal Kitchen’s Cocktail Sauce. The Primal Kitchen sauce is healthier but the Costco sauce tasted better to me (although I do wish it had more horseradish.)

Ready to Eat Shrimp Cocktail


The shrimp is fully cooked and must be refrigerated for storage.

The tray has a “Sell By” date that is three days past the “Pack Date”.  I have kept the shrimp for a day or two past the “Sell By” date and noticed a considerable drop in quality.

If you have any shrimp left over by the time you get to the “Sell By” date then I suggest using them to make a stir fry (Shrimp and Veggies, Shrimp Fried Rice) or some other dish that can be easily frozen and consumed later.

Price and Value

The smaller tray of shrimp cocktail costs $9.99 per pound and has around 1.3 pounds of food.  This means that the tray will cost you around $14.

It turns out that the party platter, which weighs 4.4 pounds and costs $39.99 is the better value at $9.00 per pound.


I was doing some research to try to figure out if the Costco is giving us a good deal with their shrimp cocktail and found this really interesting thread on Reddit where it looks like an actual Costco employee provides some insight on the subject.

Reddit Comments About Shrimp Cocktail

I believe the shrimp come from bags of the Kirkland brand frozen cooked shrimp they have in the freezer section.

According to the Reddit thread, Costco does not make any profit on the shrimp itself but does make money from including the cocktail sauce and lemon wedges that you buy at a cost of $9.99 per pound.

I do not mind that Costco is making a profit off of the sauce and lemons but if you wanted to save some cash you could buy a bag of Kirkland cooked shrimp and make your own cocktail sauce.


Good morning and welcome to the site dedicated to helping you find great products at Costco and other stores! My name is David Somerville and these are hands on reviews of products that I have bought and used or am seriously considering purchasing. I do most of my shopping at the Costco in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but will check out any other Costco warehouses I find while travelling. Please get in touch with any questions and let me know of any great products that deserved to be featured in this blog!

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