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Sep 11 2018
2 weeks ago
6:58 PM MDT

The BIG Brands Behind POPULAR Costco Kirkland Items

Sep 11, 2018 @ 6:58 PM MDT
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name brands sometimes make costco items, like this Kirkland Signature Coffee

Costco shoppers! 😱

Did you know many Costco store brand items (not just Kirkland Signature) are actually manufactured under a private label by name brands specifically for that retailer and sold at a fraction of the cost? Pretty neat, right?!

Here’s what we discovered:

1. Diapers

name brands sometimes make costco items, like these Costco diapers

Rumor has it that Costco’s highly rated Kirkland Signature Supreme Diapers may actually be made by Kimberly Clark, the manufacturer of Huggies, and are just an older generation Huggies. While this is not publicly advertised or verified, many members rave about these diapers on

“I have tried them all, from Pampers and Huggies to up & up from Target. These diapers are the best. Not only do they have the fastening tabs, but also a velcro like spot on the diaper around the hip area offering a better fit. This helps the leg holes to stay closed while also letting the diaper move with my son’s movements. So far we have used sizes 2 to 4. I LOVE these diapers.


2. Cheesename brands sometimes make costco items, like this Cheese at Costco

Have you ever browsed through the cheese cases at Costco? I picked up a block of Kirkland Signature Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and noticed on the back of the package that it is specially selected by Formaggi Zanetti, a company in Italy. While all Costco cheeses are not imported, this is a great deal for cheese that is cut and packed in Italy, aged for over 24 months, and sold for just $10.99/lb!

name brands sometimes make costco items, like this Kirkland Signature gourmet cheese

3. Coffee

name brands sometimes make costco items, like this Kirkland Signature Coffee

Did you know that select varieties of Kirkland Signature Coffee are actually roasted by Starbucks Coffee Company? You can pick up a 2lb bag of Kirkland Signature House Coffee for around $10.49 (31¢/oz), whereas a 20oz bag of Starbucks Coffee sells for $12.69 at Target (60¢/oz). BIG savings!

4. Liquor & Wine

name brands sometimes make costco items, like this kirkland liquor

Buy liquor? A salesperson at my local Costco told me that many of the Kirkland Signature liquors are made in the same warehouse/region as their name-brand counterpart. For instance, the Kirkland Signature Vodka is actually bottled in the warehouse across the street from Grey Goose Vodka, in their old production building and using their same equipment! No wonder it tastes very similar!

You can grab a 1.75L bottle of Kirkland Signature French Vodka for just $19.99, whereas a bottle of Grey Goose Vodka sells for $47.99 per 1.75L bottle at Costco and even more elsewhere!

Note that not all Costco stores or their Liquor Departments have a liquor license to sell Kirkland Signature branded alcohol, so consider calling your local Costco store before making a special trip.

name brands sometimes make costco items, like Kirkland Signature's wine

Also, Costco offers fantastic prices on wine! For instance, this 750mL bottle of Kirkland Signature Friuli Grave Pinot Grigio regularly costs just $5.99 and sells for $10-$15 per bottle at wine stores.

5. Batteries

name brands sometimes make costco items, like these Costco brand batteries

According to the CEO of Costco, the Kirkland Signature Batteries are actually made by Duracell. You can pick up a 72-pack of Kirkland Signature AA Batteries for $19.99 (= 28¢/battery), whereas a 40-pack of Duracell AA Batteries sells for $15.99 ( = 40¢/battery).

6. Tuna

name brands sometimes make costco items, like this Costco's tunaIf you’re a fan of tuna, the Kirkland Signature White Albacore Tuna is supplied by Bumble Bee Foods and sells for roughly 25¢ per ounce, whereas the 5oz cans of Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore Canned Tuna sell for $1.59 per can (= 32¢ per ounce) at your local Target. Pocket the savings!

7. Pet Food

name brands sometimes make costco items, like this Costco Dog food

All of the Kirkland Signature Super Premium and Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Pet Foods are made by Diamond Pet Foods in four company-owned manufacturing facilities in the U.S.

A 40lb bag of Kirkland Signature Super Premium Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Dog Food sells for $28.99 at Costco (= 72¢/lb), whereas a 28lb bag of Diamond Naturals Grain-Free Dog Food sells for around $39.99 at Specialty Pet Stores (= $1.43/lb). No wonder their pet food is one of their best-selling items!

8. Shampoo & Conditioner

name brands sometimes make costco items, like this Kirkland Signature haircareIf you’re looking to save on hair care products, consider grabbing these large bottles of Kirkland Signature Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner at Costco – a 33.8 fl oz bottle of shampoo sells for around $9.99 and the matching conditioner sells for just $7.49. This product smells amazing, is sulfate free, paraben free, and color safe. Rumor has it that this product is actually made by Pureology!

As a price comparison, a single 33.8oz bottle of Pureology Hydrate Shampoo alone sells for over $65 at Ulta Beauty stores. That means you can grab serious savings by purchasing at Costco!

Now, some Costco brand items aren’t made by name brands, but their high quality attests that they may as well be! In some cases, their prices and quality even outperform household name brands competing with Costco brands on the same shelves.

Costco brand items worth making the trip for include:

Women’s Athletic Clothing

name brands sometimes make costco items, like these Tuff Athletics leggings, which are similar to Lululemon

Rumor has it that the Kirkland Signature and Tuff Athletics leggings are identical quality as Lululemon. I tested out the Tuff Athletics brand and found the quality to be very similar to the prestige brand. With the same logo placement, as well as thick Lycra spandex fabric and an additional rear key pocket with a zipper, you can’t beat the quality for under $17!

Nut Bars

name brands sometimes make costco items, like these Kirkland Signature nut bars

We go nuts about Costco’s Kirkland Signature Nut Bars! They are almost identical to the popular KIND bars but for a fraction of the cost! A 30ct box of Costco’s Nut Bars regularly sell for $17.49 (= 30¢ per bar), and a 20ct box of KIND Bars sell for $18.99 (= 95¢ per bar). That’s huge savings!

name brands sometimes make costco items, like these Kirkland Signature granola bars

And if you’re looking for granola bars that taste better than Quaker, be on the lookout for Kirkland Signature’s Soft & Chewy Granola Bars! You can pick up a 64ct box for $7.99 (= 12¢/bar) and they’re the perfect size for lunches (a tad smaller). Plus, they’re made with NO artificial flavors or colors!

Paper Towels

name brands sometimes make costco items, like these Kirkland Signature paper towels

One of the products I love to grab while shopping at Costco are their Kirkland Signature Create-a-Size 2-ply Paper Towels with 160 sheets per roll. The Kirkland brand regularly sells for around $1.53 per 100 square feet, whereas the Bounty Advanced Paper Towels sell for $2.63 per 100 square feet.

Although you may be able to find cheaper prices on paper towels at other stores during a sale and/or with coupons, we think the Kirkland Signature Create-a-Size 2-ply Paper Towels are more absorbent!


name brands sometimes make costco items, like these Costco baby wipes

And, if you’re a fan of Costco’s diapers, you’ll love the Kirkland Signature Ultra Soft Baby Wipes! In fact, all of their wet wipes (including disinfectant wipes and face wipes) are made with Tencel, an ultra-soft and smooth fiber derived from 100% plant-based materials using a manufacturing process that effectively reuses and recaptures resources such as water! Plus, they’re made in the U.S.A!


name brands sometimes make costco items, like this Kirkland Signature Gasoline

Despite the myth that generic, off-brand gasoline is weaker, it is actually just as effective as stations like Shell, Chevron or ExxonMobil, since ALL fuel (including unbranded fuel!) must meet certain regulatory guidelines for RVP, ethanol percentage, octane, and more.

And since Costco sells only TOP TIER detergent gasoline (the fuel recommended by dealerships and manufacturers), it cleans your engine with every fill-up.

Plus, the average gas price at Costco is over 20¢ per gallon lower than its competitors! In fact, in this Oil Price Information Service survey in March 2018, Costco beat out major gas chains (as well as warehouse rivals such as Sam’s Club and BJ’s) to rank as the #2 cheapest place to buy gas in the US.

Which Costco brand products are your favorite?

Written by Mary for Hip2Save. Mary is a proud mom to 3 kids in Austin, TX, who thrives off Jesus, running long distance, bargain shopping, warm Texas weather, a yummy latte…and a little Candy Crush from time to time. She also loves quality time with family & friends and sharing great deals with others.

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