What I'm about to say regards only the Costco at Lincoln & Washington. No idea if a similar phenomenon affects other Costco facilities.
I used to like Costco/LBB bread. Great taste, texture, price. In particular, the bag of two baguettes. But that was some time ago.
For the last couple months or so, LBB/Costco bread smells very strongly like ... cake.
Problem is, whenever I'm looking for bread, I mean bread.
Not the (falsely attributed) Marie Antoinette solution, no brioche, no cake. Just bread.
And the Costco (again, Washington & Lincoln) stuff borders the inedible category, very strong sweety cakey smell & even sometimes sugary taste.
Here's my theory:
1) LBB sells the dough to Costco ( plus royalties, I guess, to use their label ).
2) Costco bakes it on demand as the day goes by.
3) Somehow (savings? ) they started using same oven not only for bread but also for all their other bakery items.
4) Not only same oven, but most probably everything is cooked in one and the same batch.
If anybody is in the know, please do tell.
( And no, I haven't sent them a letter; I have no more stamina to go over vacuous polite corporate BS)