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Kirkland Signature: What You Need to Know About Costco’s Store Brand

Most big grocery chains have private-label store brands that can help you find quality grocery essentials and household goods at a fraction of the price. When it comes to quality and value, Costco’s Kirkland Signature line is a customer favorite.

Costco’s trademark brand, Kirkland Signature, offers products from national brands like Starbucks, Huggies, and Ocean Spray at more affordable prices than traditional grocery stores. Costco distinguishes Kirkland products by negotiating deals with big-name brands to offer better quality and value.

In this article, we’ll take a look at Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand, which companies produce Kirkland products, and the best Kirkland products to buy at Costco.

What Is Kirkland Signature?

Kirkland Signature is Costco’s trademark private-label brand. The name was inspired by Costco’s original headquarters in Kirkland, Washington. Costco only uses the Kirkland Signature brand on merchandise sold through Costco’s website or in Costco warehouses.

According to Costco’s website, Costco started the Kirkland Signature brand after recognizing the need for quality goods at budget-friendly prices.

With the mission of creating quality products similar to those of national brands, Costco partnered with big-name companies to produce higher-quality products at lower prices.

That allowed Costco members to take advantage of bargain prices on dozens of groceries, packaged food items, and household essentials manufactured by top brands.

Who Makes Kirkland Signature Products?

Surprisingly, Costco does not produce, package, or manufacture anything sold through the Kirkland Signature brand. Instead, many of the Kirkland Signature products sold at Costco are manufactured by national brands such as Starbucks, Humboldt Creamery, Niagara, and Ocean Spray.

Although many Kirkland products are manufactured by big-name companies, Costco’s Kirkland products are not identical to the products sold by national brands.

Since Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand first hit warehouse shelves in 1995, Costco has used its popularity and influence to persuade suppliers to produce higher-quality products for the Kirkland Signature brand.

In other words, to differentiate Costco’s store brand, Costco attempts to make all Costco Kirkland products better than those sold at big-name stores by negotiating private-label deals with manufacturers.

Is Kirkland Signature a Good Brand?

Kirkland Signature offers quality products at affordable prices. If you have a Costco membership or know someone who does, you’re probably already familiar with Costco’s quality standards. In 2017, ASCI ranked Costco as fourth overall in the United States, following Wegmans, Publix, and Trader Joe’s.

Not only are Kirkland Signature products high-quality, but they’re also more affordable than their counterparts.

In fact, Consumer Reports ranks Costco’s Kirkland Signature line as sixth overall in the United States behind Wegmans and Trader Joe’s.

In some cases, Kirkland products beat traditional products from the same brand in terms of quality.

For example, although Duracell manufactures Kirkland Signature batteries, batteries sold at Costco tend to last longer than traditional Duracell batteries.

Costco also offers “superior quality” canned tuna from Bumble Bee under the Kirkland Signature brand.

Are Kirkland Products Made in China?

Some Kirkland products may be manufactured in China. Because Costco works with a wide range of brands to produce private-label products for the Kirkland Signature line, it is unclear whether all Kirkland Signature products are produced within the United States.

Within the last few years, Costco has continued to increase its inventory of Kirkland Signature products.

As previously mentioned, Costco does not manufacture any Kirkland products itself, and many Kirkland Signature products are produced by national brands.

For example, some Kirkland coffees are produced by Starbucks, while the Kirkland Signature Moisture Hair Care line is manufactured by Pureology, and Kirkland Signature Vodka is produced by Grey Goose.

What Stores Sell Kirkland Products?

In addition to Costco, you can find Kirkland Signature products at Amazon, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx. While Walmart’s online reseller marketplace previously sold Kirkland Signature products, it appears that the big-box store stopped selling Costco’s brand after acquiring Jet.

According to Business Insider, the Amazon Marketplace is responsible for a significant amount of Costco’s online sales.

Amazon sells a wide variety of Kirkland products, from Kirkland plastic wrap to quinoa, many of which are available with Amazon Prime’s two-day free shipping.

Although you can buy Kirkland products through Amazon, you’ll likely pay a premium to order Costco’s private-label brand through the online retailer.

For example, a two-pack of Kirkland Signature Professional Salon Formula Moisture Shampoo costs $30.99 on Amazon at the time of this writing, while a one-pack costs just $10.99 on the Costco website.

Even with the cost of a Costco membership, you’ll be able to save money on Kirkland Signature products when shopping at your local Costco warehouse or online through Costco’s website.

Especially if you’re frequently ordering Kirkland products through Amazon, cutting out the middleman and shopping at Costco instead can help you lower your grocery bill significantly.

5 Kirkland Products You Should Buy at Costco

From bulk toilet paper to cereal, Costco’s Kirkland Signature line features a wide variety of products at budget-friendly prices. When planning your next Costco run, be sure to add these customer favorites to your grocery list.

1. Olive Oil

When it comes to taste and quality, Kirkland Signature’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is unmatched.

In a 2010 study from the University of California, researchers reported that Kirkland Signature brand olive oil is one of the best imported olive oils on the market.

Unlike other affordable alternatives, Kirkland’s oil isn’t diluted with cheaper oils.

Choosing the right olive oil can make a significant difference in the kitchen—and Costco’s store brand offers better quality and value than most grocery stores.

2. Ice Cream

In blind taste tests conducted by Consumer Reports, Costco’s private-label ice cream outranked big-name brands such as Baskin-Robbins and Breyers.

According to one of the tasters, the Kirkland Signature Super Premium Vanilla is full and dense with a rich vanilla flavor.

In terms of value, Kirkland’s vanilla ice cream costs approximately 30 cents per serving compared to one dollar per serving for Ben & Jerry’s.

3. Bacon

According to Consumer Reports, Kirkland Signature bacon is the best option on the market.

In blind taste tests, Kirkland’s bacon performed better than the second most popular bacon on the list, Oscar Meyer, as well as other top brand-name bacon, including Trader Joe’s and Niman Ranch.

According to the report, Kirkland bacon reaches the perfect level of crispiness and has a balanced flavor profile.

However, Costco only sells its store-brand bacon in four 1-pound packages, so you may need to freeze some to keep it fresh.

To prevent spoilage, avoid storing bacon in the refrigerator for over one week.

4. Cashews

Whether you’re a fan of peanuts, walnuts, or almonds, you’re probably aware that nuts are a more expensive snack.

When it comes to cashews, Costco’s Kirkland Signature Whole Fancy Cashews are high-quality and affordable, costing just $16.99 for 2.5 pounds.

Costco’s cashews are a customer favorite, with a five-star rating and over 3,500 reviews on the Costco website.

According to Costco customers, Kirkland cashews are flavorful, not overly salty, and taste fresh, making them the perfect healthy snack.

5. Laundry Detergent

With an approximate cost of nine cents per load, Costco’s low-cost laundry detergent is included in Consumer Reports’ ranking of the best laundry detergents.

Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean not only works in all types of washing machines but can also effectively combat tough stains.

Alternatively, if you prefer to use dissolvable laundry pods, the Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Pacs are also worth buying.

According to product reviews on Amazon, Costco’s laundry pods dissolve in all water temperatures, offering a “fresh” fragrance that isn’t overpowering.

Conclusion

No matter where you shop, store-brand products can be a hit or miss. Although Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand offers unbeatable deals on groceries and household essentials, reading product reviews on Costco’s website can help you differentiate the Kirkland products worth buying from those worth skipping.

If you’re interested in finding out more about shopping at Costco, check out the related articles below.

Related Articles:

Costco Membership: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Costco Delivery: How It Works and How Much It Costs

When Does Costco Restock?

Costco Cakes: Your Guide to Buying Cakes at Costco

Does Costco Take EBT? (Yes, Here’s What You Need to Know)

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About the Author

Samantha Ellsworth is a freelance content writer and copy editor with over 7 years of experience. She worked as a bakery team member at Whole Foods for 3 years. Outside of work, you can find her hiking the trails in Colorado or trying out healthy new recipes.

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