The BIG Brands Behind Costco’s Kirkland Signature Items
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Want to know which name brands are responsible for the Costco Kirkland Signature products we love? Here’s the inside scoop!
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 be behind Costco’s popular items.
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*Please note that prices below are for in-store purchases as online prices are often higher for Costco 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 40 oz. bag of Kirkland Signature Medium Roast Coffee for around $14.99 (37¢/oz), whereas a 12oz bag of Starbucks Coffee sells for $8.29 at Target (69¢/oz). BIG savings!
2. Diamond Naturals vs. Kirkland Signature Pet Food
Shopping for a furry friend?
All of the Kirkland Signature Dry Dog and Cat Foods are made by Diamond Pet Foods in five company-owned manufacturing facilities in the U.S.
As just an idea, a 40lb bag of Kirkland Signature Super Premium Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Dog Food sells for around $49.99 at Costco (= $1.25/lb), whereas a 28lb bag of Diamond Naturals Grain-Free Dog Food sells for around $47.99 at Specialty Pet Stores (= $1.71/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 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.
The Costco brand diapers tend to run about $10-$12 cheaper per box compared to Huggies or Pampers.
“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 $20.99 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 48-pack of Kirkland Signature AA Batteries for $13.99 (29¢/battery), whereas a 20-pack of Duracell AA Batteries at Target costs $18.29 (91¢/battery).
6. Specialty Cheese vs. Kirkland Signature Cheese
Have you ever browsed through the cheese cases at Costco? Our team has 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 $11.79/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 $18.99 for eight 7oz cans which is roughly 34¢ per ounce, whereas the 5oz cans of Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore Canned Tuna sell for $2.19 per can (= 44¢ 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 sells for around $11.49 and the matching conditioner sells for just $10.99. This product smells amazing, it’s sulfate-free, paraben-free, and color-safe. And, rumor has it that this product is actually made by Pureology!
As a price comparison, a single 33.8 oz bottle of Pureology Hydrate Shampoo alone sells for $74 at Ulta Beauty stores. That means you can grab serious savings by purchasing hair products at Costco!
9. Grey Goose vs. Kirkland Signature Vodka
Buy liquor? A salesperson at a local Costco told us that many of the Kirkland Signature liquors are made in the same warehouse/region as their name-brand counterpart. For instance, the Costco branded vodka is actually bottled in the warehouse across the street from Grey Goose Vodka, in their old production building, and using the 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.
10. Chinet vs Kirkland Signature Chinet Plastic Red Cups
Everyone knows you can’t have a party without those famous big red plastic cups! Chinet has an exclusive line of Kirkland Signature Plastic Red Cups sold at Costco.
You can score a humongous 240-count pack of these 18oz cups for only $13.19. That comes out to just under 6¢ per cup! Meanwhile, Walmart is currently selling a 100-count pack of 18oz party cups for $13.92. That comes out to almost 14¢ per cup which is more than double the price of the name brand Chinet cups at Costco.
11. Blommer’s vs. Kirkland Signature Milk Chocolate Almonds
Word on the street is that Costco’s yummy Kirkland Signature Milk Chocolate Almonds are made by the Blommer Chocolate Company, which has been making gourmet chocolates since 1939. I gotta tell ya, these almonds are one of my favorite snacks from Costco.
The Costco almonds are priced at $16.49 for 48 ounces which comes in right at 34¢ per ounce. This is a total bargain compared to grocery and department stores which sell smaller bags of lesser quality for much more.
12. Niagara vs. Kirkland Signature Purified Bottled Water
I don’t know about you but I can taste the difference between bottled water brands. Rumor has it that Kirkland Signature Purified Bottled Water is actually Niagara Bottled Water in disguise. I actually had a couple of bottles of each brand and gave them a try, and yep, they for sure taste just alike.
The 40-count base of the bottled water at Costco runs about $3.69 – just 9¢ per bottle, and you can grab a 32-count pack of Niagara bottled water at Walmart which runs about 29¢ a bottle.
13. Persil vs. Kirkland Signature Laundry Detergent
We are big-time fans of Persil here at Hip2Save, so when we heard that Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Laundry Detergent is possibly made by the same company that makes Persil, we were stoked! The German company Henkel that produces Persil is rumored to be the manufacturer of Costco’s UltraClean Line.
A 152-count pack of the Kirkland Signature Laundry Detergent Pacs clocks in at $23.49 which is just about 15¢ per load. The Persil ProClean Laundry Detergent Discs 62-Count Pack (their largest size) is currently priced at $17.97 at Walmart which is just under 29¢ a load making the Kirkland brand the clear winner price-wise.
14. Reynolds vs. Kirkland Signature Reynolds Food Service Foil
Here’s another name-brand product that is no longer in hiding at Costco. The same fine folks that make Reynolds Aluminum Foil that you probably have in your pantry now make an exclusive Kirkland Signature line at Costco.
A roll of 12 in x 1000 ft Kirkland Signature Reynolds Foodservice Foil will run you about $33.99 which works out to be about 3¢ per sq ft while the Reynolds runs about 5¢ per sq ft.
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 TUFF brand and Kirkland Signature leggings are of identical quality to Lululemon. I tested out a pair of TUFF Leggings 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 $19!
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 $11.50 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 of 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 bedsheets 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 sells for $17.69 (= 59¢ per bar), and a 20ct box of KIND Bars sells for $23.99 (= $1.20 per bar). That’s huge savings!
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 $11.49 (= 21¢/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!
For those of you living the keto life and/or if you love Quest Protein Bars, you’ll want to give these Kirkland Signature Protein Bars a try. A 20-count box is only $49.99 ($1.25 per bar), which is pretty sweet considering Quest Protein Bars regularly run about $29.99 for a box of 12. That clocks in at $2.50 per bar!
4. Kirkland Signature Paper Towels
One of the products I love to grab while shopping at Costco is their Kirkland Signature Create-a-Size 2-ply Paper Towels with 160 sheets per roll. The Kirkland brand regularly sells for around $2 per 100 square feet, whereas the Bounty Advanced Paper Towels sell for $3.45 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 Costco paper towels are more absorbent!
5. Kirkland Signature Wipes
If you’re a fan of Costco’s diapers, you’ll likely love the Kirkland Signature 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 claimed to be 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 Costco products 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 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?
Ready to shop? Check out this Costco membership deal first!
We shop at Aldi and Costco. Believe it or not, a gallon of 2% milk is cheaper at Aldi ($2.68) vs. Costco ($2.94). I’m sure it’s different in every area as the price of milk changes often, but I was shocked to find this out.
I LOVE Costco, but the milk jugs are an awful design. The top is usually hard to get off and the shape is more awkward to handle in my family’s opinion. Agree with Bunny that the price at Aldi for milk (and eggs) is better.
Eggs at my local Aldi are now 55 cents a dozen. Definitely cheaper than Costco’s price.
Aldis eggs are horrible though. The yolks have almost NO color at all. 😕
Aldi’s eggs are okay for Easter and baking. Def not flavorful egg like costco
Aldi’s milk is awful. Just my opinion.
I agree Used to buy it there for convenience but the milk spills all over due to design
Yes it does. The milk does not last. I think Kroger’s milk is the best when it is on sale Easy to handle
but costco milk is made better, has a better quality
Aidi sucks lady
I have a dog that has a VERY sensitive stomach (he is a rescue that gets easily stressed). The Costco dog food in the post is 1 of 2 brands that he can eat. All others, including “sensitive” brands, make him sick.
You certainly are a miserable human!!
While there are occasionally items that other chains sell cheaper, Costco quality on Kirkland branded items is superb. Plus the article does not mention the opportunity for cash rebates if you use a Costco branded VISA and the cash back on gasoline purchased.
And that they double the warranty on TV’s computers etc when you use your Costco credit card.
The double the TV warranty to 2 years and use the credit card and its 4 years and then spend the $100 and add another 3 years on top of it!!!!!
Hate to break it to you but most credit card issuers do this for you. But you call VISA or MASTERCARD not the issuing bank
You gotta love the deals at Costco as long as you can store them or eat/use them before they go bad.
You can’t go wrong with paper towels & TP… but honestly, their beer prices are just like any other store, so I save that room in my cart for things I can’t get at the regular store.
And TVs, computers & appliances are a NO BRAINER as long as you are OK with the model.
Been a member of Price Club since 1985.
I would be interested to learn what motivation a company has to compete against themselves with the exact same product under a different label. Wouldn’t you suppose they would deliberately cut some corners on the generic brands?
I see as one example in these comments that Kirkland batteries do not have the quality of Duracell, even if they happen to come out of the same factory. I have had similar experiences with Kirkland batteries; they simply do not work as well. I stopped buying them, and I’m sure Duracell is happier for it.
The generics may be manufactured by the name brands, but what assurances do we have that the quality is the same? None at all. I think the anecdotal evidence supports the idea that any time a generic product happens to match (or exceed??) the quality of the name brand is a complete accident of chance, and I’m sure they’ll fix that when they can.
I think the company competes against themselves for their brand and the Kirkland brand, because they are targeting two different audiences. The folks who would never consider shopping at Costco, only buying the brands, as well as the Costco “get a deal” customer.
I s Kirkland butter made by Land o Lakes?
What about Kirkland butter?
We could not find any Bounty paper towels and grabbed a huge pack of Kirkland brand last time. Each sheet is a bit larger but they are thinner, not as absorbent, and once wet, do not dry back to their original thickness like Bounty does. They work in a pinch, but I’ll purchase Bounty if they are available over these.
I purchased bed sheets, they were really inexpensive and my husband was not convinced they would be good quality. But there are the most resistant and comfortable sheets we ever had. They are still like new although they have been washed so many times. Most products are great quality.
I just bought tires for my minivan. It was half the price of other places. They work with Michelin tires to create tires just for Costco to sell. Totally worth it.
No longer buy tires or batteries at Costco for my 4 vehicles. Sacramento CalExpo Costco runs a shady tire department when it comes to covered warranty on both Tires and Batteries. Both are items that often perform less than advertised warranty. Ran Michelin’s on my tundra. Not a cheap purchase (750+ with discount) but 60K warranty. Kept up on my rotation and air pressure as required. After 45K miles was seeing excessive wear and they are telling me to replace. I ask about the warranty and there was no proration for a new set. Negotiated and offered to do me a favor and take 1/2 off the labor. Laughable! Now only go to AmericasTires for same tire plus more options. Great service, easy free air refill, rotation and inspection. Like Costco they only do tires, so no worries about the typical “up sell” that comes from Big O, Les Schwab type chain stores. I’m 55+ years old and have seen and heard the ripoff tactics those chain stores come with.
Costco gas ⛽️ is true. Our friends own the gas stations and tankers that provide gas for shell and they also deliver to Costco as well. I asked my friend if it’s the same and she told me it was. 😌
Costco ice cream bars same as dreyers brand, at least I think so!
Costco, the mask nazis
Good bye Costco
Have been shopping Costco for about 5 years now after leaving Sams Club. The brightness and the cleanliness were the two major reasons why Costco was favored. Product quality including packaging along with pricing was considered.
Major drawbacks was a lack of a man tool section, and the very poor selection of mens clothing, color and sizes. Not sure if the “buyers” or warehouse are responsible, but they should look for another job.
As for the Covid mask situation. If the masks are sooo good, why are the numbers still up. Personally I cannot wear a mask due to a long term health problem possibly like many other Costco members. Have not been in Costco since it was mandatory to wear a mask. Guess the execs are to important to consider us, veterans. As one member said, “mask nazi’s”.
You can always use a face shield which allows you a little more comfort. My husbands a vet. His father just died from Covid. We DOUBLE mask and don’t mind at all. Covid is no joke!
Listen to the medical professionals rather than trying to draw your own (inaccurate) conclusion.
The reason numbers are still up Is because people get together in small groups and take the masks off.
I am an RN and I do contact tracing. Masks have always worked for this type of viral transmission.
I work directly with Covid positive patients and spend hours in a closed room. I never got it. I wore a surgical mask. The science behind why masks work with this type of virus are illustrated in the medical textbooks we study and are then tested over multiple times before we are licensed. Please don’t draw your own unqualified conclusions based on social media hearsay.
👏 👏 👏
My mom has worked at Costco for 15 years and although we greatly appreciate your service she doesn’t want to catch covid because you won’t wear a mask she doesn’t make the rules but sure as hell can get fired for not enforcing them Costco has a delivery service or at least where she works at the business center does so you can not wear a mask and still get your Costco stuff it’s people like you that make retail hard these people don’t make enough to put up with random crap
Recently I’ve noticed a smell from the Kirkland paper towels when they get wet. Why is that?
What’s going on with Kirtland toilet paper it’s not the same anymore it has changed 40%
Does Costco still do Jobmaster? They’re cleaners used to smell like bubblegum.
What is jo master my mind works there in Maintenance so I can ask
The Diapers are made by 1st Quality Paper Products that are made in Lewistown PA. 1st Quality also makes Kirkland,Sam’s Club, Dollar General brand of Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Baby Wipes, Feminine Products and napkins for a few examples. Also 1st Quality bottled water for these companies till Nestlé bought the facility 2 years ago so now it’s Nestlé water. I know this for fact because I’m a truck driver that hauls their freight very regularly past 6 years.
Thank you, Brittany!
Kirkland milk and meats do not
leave me tired two days after drinking and eating these product as if i eat or drink walmart or other grocery store brand meats and milk im dead tired for days after no energy.
Does Cosco accept Ebt cards?
I’ve used my EBT card at Costco stores in VA and NC!!
Why has the package size of toilet changed from 48 to 40? The price remains unchanged per package.
I had suggested making Garlic Cheese Bread to a friend and it was made with Kirkland Marinated Artichokes Hearts from Costco. Recently I had seen a food show saying known manufactures sell products under the Kirkland label. I was wondering which manufacture makes the Marinated Artichoke Hearts ?
Kirkland sport drink is it power aid or gateraid??
Hi there! I’m not finding details on that one.
I love a lot of things at Costco but I prefer Sam’s Club toilet paper and paper towels.
I was stunned at the quality of the Kirkland frozen family dinners. I never believed frozen pot roast and veggies could be that good!
This all sounds awesome. I just can’t get over paying a store for allowing me to shop there. Just ain’t happening for me. LOL
The Kirkland protein bars are way more carbs now, they have changed the recipe. The box is even marked with a red stripe indicating the change.
Bummer! 😢We will make sure to get that picture updated. Thank you, amn!
Any word on who makes their golf balls? I use them quite a bit and they are amazing too. Great article, thank you so much for posting!
The shampoo is the best !!! Will not use any other brand !!!
I can tell you their tennis balls say Penn on them, but they don’t have the same bounce as the ones I buy at tennis stores. I think some manufacturers will make products just for Costco, but the quality is different. The same was true of some Puma athletic socks I once bought at an outlet store – not the same quality. Even at places like Nordstrom’s Rack now, most products are not from non-sale at a Nordstrom, but are made specifically for the Rack. I still love Costco – always gas up there, and their sparkling water, whosever it is, rocks. Great for salmon, cheese, lots of stuff.