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The BIG Brands Behind POPULAR Costco Kirkland Items

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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.

Mary is a senior copywriter with 9+ years in frugal tips & deals. She has a Bachelors in Human Resources Interdisciplinary Studies. Connect with Mary on LinkedIn

Join The Discussion

Comments 49

  1. Amy Dungan

    I buy Kirkland brand almond butter and maple syrup because they are a great deal. At Christmastime, they carry Wensleydale cheese with cranberries, which is a much better deal than Kroger. We wish they carried it year round. My boyfriend is English and loves this cheese.

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Ohhh I can’t wait to look for that Wensleydale cheese with cranberries!! 🎄

  2. Sue

    The Diamond naturals dogfood large bag is only $28.99 at my local Rural King. They also offer 12% rebate on the entire store every few weeks.

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Oh wow!

    • Maggie

      The correct comparison product for Diamond Naturals is their Chicken and Rice — which has almost an identical formula to Kirkland chicken & rice and costs only a few dollars more at most feed stores (don’t compare the Diamond Naturals Grain-Free — that’s closure to Nature’s Domain at Costco). Tractor Supply’s 4Health is also a Diamond private label food, and the 4Health chicken and rice is interchangeable with the Kirkland/Diamond Naturals chicken and rice. You can swap between them without transitioning as they’re nearly identical ingredients, made in the same plant.

      • Maggie

        Oh — and for those who don’t know, Diamond also makes Taste of the Wild, Chicken Soup and others.

      • Sallys

        wow great information, thank you. tractor supply is a 15 minute drive costco is 45 minutes and we are out of dog food, thanks!

  3. Diana

    We love the Kirkland Hazelenut Spread that is their version of Nutella!! It’s definitely much cheaper and super yummy!!!

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      YUM!! 😋

    • OxoMicheleoxo

      I buy the same.. my kids and I can’t tell a difference!

  4. Maddie

    The Kirkland baby formula is made by one of the brand name formula companies, I think it’s Similac.

    • Leslie

      You’re right! 🙂 My hubby used to work for Abbott, who makes Similac.

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      So interesting! Thanks for the heads up!

  5. BRIAN

    You cannot beat the quality and price either they have with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

  6. Andyanti

    Any thoughts on when Costco is going to have another deal their memberships? I am interested in giving them a try.

    • Robert

      keep your eyes peeled to Groupon for any future Costco membership deals

  7. bessie

    I love knowing these things! It is the best way to see what a great deal you are getting!!! Unfortunately we do not have Cosco in my town, the closest is 1 h drive on a speedway, so…we are stuck with Sam’s Club…hugh!! I don t think they are as good, but it would make me feel better if you made a similar article for them..

    • Eileen Moore

      Sams Club is just Walmart under a different name
      I’d drive the hour and go to Costco or a BJs wholesale Club, which is good too

  8. Chris

    We love pretty much everything about Costco!!

  9. Holly

    I love Costco so great info. The math is off on the Nut bars though. 30 bars at $17.49 is more like 55 cents each rather than 30 cents. Still a good deal.

    • Chris Ackerman

      Or 58.3 cents. But…who’s counting?

  10. Minnie

    I love their margarita mix too! I wish there leggings came in xs. They had a few pairs once, but I haven’t seen them in a year at least. I also love their diapers! Costco is one of my favorite places!

  11. Jay

    The diapers are not actual huggies and are thinner.
    Also the Kirkland wipes are horrible!! I actually returned a box last month after trying to like them and using about 20 wipes total.. They are small and dry.

  12. Dylan Fan

    Aren’t their jelly beans jelly belly?

    • Falcon

      Yes and the price per pound for the mix is so much less than Jelly Belly. I buy them all the time!

  13. nydia

    their Kirkland flavored canned sparkling water is MUCH better than Le Croix at a fraction of the cost.
    i love costco!

    • Patricia Goff

      I can’t get anybody at my house to drink sparkling water. They all say they are nasty. I have tried several brands. Must be doing something wrong. Bought La Croix, Bubbly, Ozark, and Perrier and I have given up.

      • Bunny

        Patricia–if you add a splash of OJ, Cranberry Juice or Lemonade, you may get them to convert! We mix them 50/50 and they taste great!

  14. Lisa

    Hah! I was at Costco today looking to buy wine and these two ladies were raving about the Pinot Grigio (same one mentioned in this post), So I picked up a bottle and it’s in the fridge waiting to chill. Can’t wait to try it!

    I also bought similac formula today $34.99 but now that I know the Kirkland is the same, I will buy that next time for half the price $17.99

  15. mardigras3575

    In my neck of the woods the frozen Kirkland chicken is Foster Farm (at the time i saw it). I toured the Foster Farms facility and saw this first hand.

  16. Hannah

    Just curious anyone know why they “check” your receipt when you leave? Also, why do they split your cart from you and your little kids? They have the weirdest checkouts. My kids get a little scared. It makes no sense to me. I’m not sure if they are all like this but the clerk takes your cart of stuff with your kids on one side of the checkout lane. so kids can grab stuff off the belt get scared etc.. and you as a parent can’t really stop it, your kid is too far out of reach. I think they should scan your card when you go in. so that you do not have to show it at checkout. I’m always digging in my purse for it. Where did I stuff it so it would be easy to get to, pocket? front or back? coat etc..

    • Lue

      Costco “checks” your receipt for 2 reasons. The first is to make sure you were charged for everything on your receipt (I’ve had cashiers fail to scan the bottom of the basket) and vice versa, to make sure you weren’t overcharged for anything on your receipt (they rang you up for 2 milks, but you only purchased 1). The 2nd reason is to make sure you aren’t pulling a fast one. One COULD (if one were dishonest) buy a list of items, go load up one’s car, put the same receipt back into one’s pocket or purse or whatever, go back into Costco and load up one’s cart with the same items and show the previous receipt to exit, thereby getting double the goods for the cost of the first trip through the store. The Costco employee puts a highlighter thru your receipt so that you can’t show the same receipt exiting with new product. Make sense?

    • Chris

      You can stay with your children when the cart goes behind the cashier. There is no rule saying that you can not walk with your cart with your children. Also the cashier has to scan your card when you check out. How else will the computer system keep track of your 2% reward check.


      1. they do not scan your card as you go in the store, you merely show it, so that they can keep a count of the number of shoppers entering (has to do with a productivity ongoing audit and also so that when you check out you can not cause a problem by saying I don’t have my card with me, it only takes one such person to really slow down the check out lines. people still try it by using expired ones
      2. kids in the cart you can follow you cart through just go around to pay while they are at the end of the check out,
      3. they check your receipt to make sure you have not been charged for more items than are listed, if you watch them they count the items and make sure that they match.

  17. Connie

    I would love to buy the Kirkland shampoo and conditioner but they are only available to purchase in the store. We don’t have a Costco near us 🙁

  18. Patricia Goff

    I wish we had a costco in Central Arkansas. My dogs don’t like any of the grain free dog food and I have tried about 10 different kinds (brand name not store name). I know it is healthier for them but what do you do to get them to eat it? I end up buying their favorite (after people food of course, I have kids and they are always sharing someway or another) brand at tractor supply so they don’t starve to death. LOL They will eat it if I put gravy on it or the grease from hamburger but that is defeating the purpose I think.

    • Chris

      You can buy it on COSTCO website

  19. Marcie

    Excellent post!

  20. Cee

    Lol @ brand name chicken.
    They’re dead birds either way.

  21. Mommyof71987

    I agree I slowly lessen the juice and my 4 year olds love just drinking sparkling water with a little lime squeezed in it.

  22. Rachel Solis

    Also if you are on prescription meds (long term) you can get a 3 month supply shipped to you…so much cheaper than your regular pharmacy. We do this with my mom and it saves us a lot of money and a lot of trips back and forth. It’s great!

  23. Wehaf

    For the nut bars, $17.49 for 30 bars comes out to 58 cents per bar, not 30 cents per bar.

  24. Rachelo

    We love the Costco tortilla chips, and they actually say Mission on the side of the bag! A 3lb bag is about $3.50.

  25. sandy crowell

    The shampoo and conditioner are amazing and you only use very little. I was having problems with my head itching really bad and switched to this brand and it stopped! It’s free of sulfates etc

  26. Julie

    In addition on gas… if you take your gas receipt into the store, you get .25 off per gallon of gas. So, fill up a 20 gallon tank, you get $5 off in store (at least at our location). That alone takes care of the membership fee!

    • DSch

      Julie, could you elaborate? Who do you take your gas receipt to in the store? Thank you. Never heard of that tidbit (even if it might not be at all Costco).

  27. Bonnie

    Very interesting post. About Kirkland Brand: A Quinoa and Brown Rice quick cooking side dish we liked to get at Costco ( sold elsewhere, too ) no longer is carried by Costco and was recently replaced with Kirkland Brand. While very similar, it is not the same texture, and has a subtly different taste. So am I imagining it is not “up to snuff”? Why would Costco do this? How does this affect the original producer?

  28. Lou G.

    Kirkland body just lotion was wonderful, but they quit carrying it. Any idea on who manufactured it?

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