The BIG Brands Behind Costco’s Kirkland Signature Items
Hip2Save may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.
If you’re a Costco shopper…listen up!
A Costco membership offers low warehouse prices on thousands of high-end, brand-name products and services.
But did you know that many of Costco’s Kirkland Signature items are actually manufactured under a private label by name-brands just for them? Even better, they’re often the same or better quality but sold at a fraction of the cost! 😱 Get ready! We’re sharing some of the biggest brands that may behind Costco’s popular Kirkland Signature Items.
1. Starbucks vs. 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 ~$12.79 at Target (60¢/oz). BIG savings!
2. Diamond Naturals vs. Kirkland Signature Pet Food
As just an idea, a 40lb bag of Kirkland Signature Super Premium Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Dog Food sells for around $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!
3. Huggies/Pampers vs. Kirkland Signature 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 Costco.com.
“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.
4. Jelly Belly vs. Kirkland Signature Jelly Beans
While Kirkland Signature Jelly Belly Jelly Beans may be a seasonal product, they’re definitely worth adding to your cart if you happen to spot them and are a candy lover. You can grab a whopping 4lb container of these gourmet jelly beans for just $13.99 (or occasionally $9.99 after Instant Savings!), which equals just $3.50 per pound. This seems like a fantastic price as a 2lb package of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans sells for $19.99 on JellyBelly.com!
The Kirkland Signature Jelly Belly containers come with 49 different flavors such as Sunkist Pink Grapefruit, Strawberry Cheesecake, Orange Sherbet, Cotton Candy, and other fun flavors. Yum!
5. Duracell vs. Kirkland Signature Batteries
According to this interview with 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. Specialty Cheese vs. Kirkland Signature Cheese
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!
7. Bumble Bee vs. Kirkland Signature Tuna
If 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!
8. Pureology vs. Kirkland Signature Moisture Haircare
If 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 regularly 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. And, rumor has it that this product is actually made by Pureology!
9. Grey Goose vs. Kirkland Signature Vodka
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.
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.
We also think these Costco items are worth every penny!
Now, not all Costco brand items are made by name brands, but their superior quality attests that they may as well be! In some cases, their prices and quality even out-perform household name brands. Here are just a few other Costco brand items we love that you won’t find anywhere else.
1. Women’s Athletic Clothing
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!
2. Charisma Bath Towels
There’s no better feeling than stepping out of a long hot shower and wrapping yourself in a soft, absorbent towel. And Costco’s Charisma 100% HygroCotton Soft Bath Towels do just that!
Regularly priced at just $7.99 each (they often go on Instant Savings for just $5.99), these 30″ x 58″ towels have a special weave that enhances the softness, so they get softer with every wash (be sure to wash these towels a couple times before using them to avoid the fuzzies).
Plus, they’re made with hollow core cotton technology that makes them super absorbent. And, with the Spot Stop color protection, you don’t have to worry about your towels getting discolored from common cosmetic ingredients in acne lotions and dental whiteners. How awesome is that?!
And, if you love these bath towels, you’ll likely love their bed sheets and blankets, too!
3. Kirkland Signature Nut & Granola 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 (= 58¢ per bar), and a 20ct box of KIND Bars sell for $18.99 (= 95¢ per bar). That’s huge savings!
And if you’re looking for granola bars that taste just as good as Quaker, be on the lookout for Kirkland Signature’s Soft & Chewy Granola Bars (in club only). You can pick up a 64ct box for $7.99 (= 12¢/bar) and they’re the perfect size for lunches (a tad smaller). Plus, I love that they’re made with NO artificial flavors or colors!
4. 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 these Kirkland Signature Paper Towels are more absorbent!
Need toilet paper, too? Before grabbing a package that seems like it’s the best deal, be sure to check out our tips on how to calculate toilet paper price points.
5. Kirkland Signature Wipes
If you’re a fan of Costco’s diapers, you’ll likely 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!
6. 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, Costco beat out major gas chains (as well as warehouse rivals such as Sam’s Club and BJ’s) to rank as the #1 cheapest place to buy gas in the US.
Want more? Go here for even more ways to save on gasoline!
Other Kirkland Signature dupes that Hip2Save readers love:
- Kirkland Signature Hazelnut Spread vs. Nutella
- Kirkland Signature Baby Formula vs. Similac
- Kirkland Signature Sparkling Water vs. LaCroix
- Kirkland Signature Tortilla Strips vs. Mission
- Kirkland Signature Real Mayonnaise vs. Hellmann’s
- Kirkland Signature Rotisserie Chicken vs. Any Store Brand
- Kirkland Signature Cage Free Eggs vs. Any Store Brand
- Kirkland Signature Laundry Detergent vs. Tide
- Kirkland Signature Kitchen Trash Bags vs. Hefty
- Kirkland Signature Bath Tissue vs. Charmin
- Kirkland Signature Triple Action Joint Pills vs. Move Free
- and MANY others!
Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all Kirkland Signature items – just some of the most popular items. Also, keep in mind that Costco’s inventory changes often and prices may vary by region and warehouse. Visit your local warehouse for product pricing and details.
Now it’s your turn! Which Costco products are your favorite?