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9 surprising things I found at Costco in Iceland that I've never seen at US stores

9 surprising things I found at Costco in Iceland that I've never seen at US stores
  • I visited Iceland's only Costco store in Garðabær, about 6 miles south of Reykjavík.

  • Icelandic butter, hot dogs, soda, and dried fish fillets are only available at the Icelandic Costco.

  • I was surprised to find many British products like Marmite and Victoria sandwiches there, as well.

On a trip to Iceland in June, I visited Costco and found items that I've never seen at US locations.

With 854 warehouse locations worldwide, Costco opened its first store in Iceland in 2017. It's located in Garðabær, about 6 miles south of Iceland's capital of Reykjavík.

Here are nine surprising products I saw on shelves there.

The two soda fountains in Costco's food court featured an orange-flavored Icelandic soda called Egils Appelsin in addition to Pepsi, 7-Up, and water.

A soda fountain at Costco in Iceland featuring an orange-flavored Icelandic soda called Egils Appelsin.
A soda fountain at Costco in Iceland featuring an orange-flavored Icelandic soda called Egils Appelsin.Talia Lakritz/Business Insider

Produced by Iceland's Skallagrímsson Brewery since 1955, Egils Appelsin is often served at festive occasions and holidays like Christmas. It's a beverage unique to Iceland, one that I've never seen at my Costco stores on the East Coast of the US.

Birthday cakes featured "Happy birthday" written in icing in the local language: "Til hamingju með ðaginn" in Icelandic.

A Costco birthday cake in Iceland.
A Costco birthday cake in Iceland.Talia Lakritz/Business Insider

The cake cost 2,499 ISK, or about $18.70.

While Costco's house-brand Kirkland hot dogs are sold at stores all over the world, the store I visited also had the Icelandic Vínarpylsur brand.

Hot dogs at Costco in Iceland.
Hot dogs at Costco in Iceland.Talia Lakritz/Business Insider

Hot dogs are a popular street food in Iceland, usually ordered "Ein með öllu," which translates to "one with everything."

The Vínarpylsur hot dogs cost 2,499 ISK, or about $18.70, for a pack of 20.

The location also sold tubs of creamy Icelandic yogurt called skyr.

Skyr at Costco in Iceland.
Skyr at Costco in Iceland.Talia Lakritz/Business Insider

Skyr, closer to a cheese than a yogurt, is made with skim milk.

A kilogram-sized tub, or about a quart, of skyr cost 559 ISK, or about $4.18.

I'd never seen these Vikingr dried fish fillets, called hardfiskur, at Costcos in the US, but they've been a staple of the Icelandic diet for centuries.

Dried fish fillets at Costco in Iceland.
Dried fish fillets at Costco in Iceland.Talia Lakritz/Business Insider

The dried and flattened fish fillets are usually made with cod, haddock, or wolffish.

I also found blocks of Smjör, an Icelandic brand of butter.

Smjör butter at Costco in Iceland.
Smjör butter at Costco in Iceland.Talia Lakritz/Business Insider

A 500-gram block of butter, or about 2.2 cups, cost 699 ISK, or about $5.23.

I went looking for where to buy Smjör in the US when I got back from my trip because I loved it so much. It's sold at some Whole Foods locations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, according to Smjör's official website.

I was surprised to find numerous British products, like Marmite, at the Icelandic Costco.

Marmite at Costco in Iceland.
Marmite at Costco in Iceland.Talia Lakritz/Business Insider

Iceland is only a quick three-hour flight from London, so it made sense to find British foods in the aisles.

A tub of Marmite cost 597 ISK, or about $4.47.

The bakery sold Victoria sandwiches, which are also available at Costco locations in the UK.

Fresh Cream Victoria Sandwiches at Costco in Iceland.
Victoria sandwiches at Costco in Iceland.Talia Lakritz/Business Insider

A package of six sandwiches, made with fresh cream and strawberry jam between two sponge cakes, cost 1,199 ISK, or about $8.97.

This bag of cane icing sugar still bore Queen Elizabeth's stamp of approval known as a Royal Warrant.

Cane icing sugar at Costco in Iceland.
Cane icing sugar at Costco in Iceland.Talia Lakritz/Business Insider

Brands can use the royal coat of arms in their product design if they have a Royal Warrant of Appointment — a document allowing the brands to use the emblem if they supply goods or services to the royal family, Business Insider's Britney Nguyen previously reported.

As the new monarch, King Charles III now has the power to review and grant Royal Warrants. Brands will have to reapply to feature the royal coat of arms in 2024.

Read the original article on Insider