It wasn’t until there was a recall on Diamond Pet Foods that I learned that other companies were making Costco brands. You see, in that recall notice that Diamond put out, it included Costco’s Kirkland Signature.
Who knew? Well, it turns out that Costco partners with well-known companies to make some of the most popular Kirkland Signature products it sells.
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Well-known names behind Costco brands
It’s not like Costco hides these partnerships from shoppers. Just take a look at the signage at your local Costco store or even on the Costco website.
For example, when I was shopping at Costco and looking at buying coffee, I noticed the Starbucks name. It was on the price tag on the shelf as well as the bag of Kirkland Signature House Blend coffee, as shown below.
Why it’s smart to buy store brands
With prices on the rise, it’s one of the reasons that companies with private label products and the stores that sell them have reported double-digit growth for store brands.
What’s so special about big names making products for Costco? Basically, you can buy the equivalent of brand-name items but at generic prices. And they’re worth it.
When Nicole Weatherford of Everyday Thrifty compared Costco vs Walmart vs Aldi, Costco came out on top.
The best deal on a Costco Membership right now is through Groupon. When you sign up, you’ll get your one-year membership plus a $40 Costco Digital Shop Card for free.
In case you didn’t know, the Costco Shop Card is the store’s gift card. You can use it in store or online.
This offer is for new Costco memberships only or for former Costco members whose membership expired more than 18 months ago. So, if you’ve moved, there wasn’t a Costco nearby and you let your membership lapse for more than 18 months, you’re good to go to sign up for this deal again!
Terms and Conditions
- After purchase you’ll receive an email from Costco confirming your membership details. To pick up your membership card, stop by the membership counter at any Costco location and bring a copy of that email with your photo ID. Incentive will be emailed within 2 weeks after sign-up to qualifying members.
- You’re receiving a One-Year Costco Gold Star Membership
- A membership card for the Primary Cardholder and one additional Household Card for anyone living at the same address, over the age of 16
- A $40 Digital Costco Shop Card (valid at Costco locations and Costco.com)
- Valid only for new members and those whose previous memberships (Primary and Household) have been expired for at least 18 months or more.
- Please allow up to two hours to receive your confirmation email from Costco. You must have either your Costco or Groupon confirmation email to receive your physical membership card at a Costco location.
- A physical membership card is not required to shop online or receive your incentives.
- Incentive includes a $40 Digital Costco Shop Card
- Digital Costco Shop Card will be emailed within 2 weeks after sign-up to qualifying members.
- Digital Costco Shop Card will be emailed to the email address provided by the Primary Member at time of sign-up.
- Not valid for the renewal of an existing Costco membership.
- All sales final.
- $40 Digital Costco Shop Card is not redeemable for cash, except as required by law. Digital Costco Shop Cards are not accepted at Costco Gas Stations, Car Washes, or Food Court Kiosks.
Again, this a Groupon-only deal for a Costco membership.
Here’s the lowdown on filling up at Costco gas stations.
Costco brands and products
The next time you’re in Costco, look for these Kirkland brand products.
Then, you can pat yourself on the back for knowing which company really made these Costco brands.
Costco Kirkland diapers
The Motley Fool cites a 2017 Wall Street Journal article about the manufacturer behind Costco Kirkland diapers. And it is Kimberly-Clark, which makes Huggies diapers, among other consumer goods.
In case you didn’t know, Costco also sells Huggies. Not surprisingly, though, the Kirkland brand is cheaper by about two cents per diaper.
That might now seem like a lot of money. However, when you’re buying a pack of 200+ diapers in a single trip, that can add up.
Parents Magazine says that a baby can go through up to 3,000 diapers in their first year. So, you do the math.
Costco tuna is Bumblebee
According to CNN, in 2003 Costco started selling Kirkland brand tuna that is from Bumblebee. They continue to sell it today–even displaying it right next to brand-name Bumblebee tuna.
Kirkland Signature wipes
“My children have all had super sensitive skin as babies,” says Siobhan Borland of Mimosas and Motherhood, “and the Kirkland sensitive baby wipes are one of the few options that don’t irritate their skin.”
She wasn’t aware that another company, called Nice Pac, makes these wipes. That company also makes Costco flushable wipes and cleaning wipes.
Genuine Keurig K Cups
Speaking of coffee, you can buy Kirkland Signature coffee k cups in bulk and feel confident that they’ll work in your Keurig machine. That’s because Keurig is Costco’s partner in making these coffee pods.
That’s why it says, right on the box, “Keurig Genuine K Cup Pods.”
Here are tips on how to make cold brew coffee.
Kirkland organic granola
Nature’s Path Organic is responsible for making the Kirkland Granola. You may have seen the brand in places other than Costco.
For example, you can buy Nature’s Path Organic at the following retailers as well:
Here are some low carb yet sweet breakfast recipes.
Stearns and Foster Costco mattresses
This article covers how often you should replace your mattress and mentions name-brand mattresses you can buy at Costco, including Casper and Tempurpedic. Costco sells them under their original brand names.
However, there is also a Kirkland Signature mattress to consider. Stearns and Fosters is the manufacturer.
When you pick up one of those mega-boxes of Kirkland aluminum foil at Costco, take a closer look at the box. It says Reynolds foil right on the label.
Jelly Belly jelly beans
If you’re particular about your jelly bean brands, you don’t have to worry about buying the generic version at Costco. The Kirkland brand is actually from Jelly Belly.
This article on factory tours for families includes the Jelly Belly factory in California.
When you buy Kirkland Signature dried plums, aka prunes, you’ll see that they’re made in conjunction with the Sunsweet brand.
PaperChef parchment paper
Another baking necessity is the Kirkland parchment paper, which the PaperChef culinary company makes for Costco.
Big Red Cups by Chinet
You won’t find red solo cups at Costco. However, you will find something called the Big Red Cups from Kirkland Signature.
And right under the Kirkland Signature logo, you’ll see it says Chinet, the company that makes the cups on Costco’s behalf.
Ocean Spray cranberry juice
You’re not getting generic and perhaps iffy cranberry juice when you purchase the Kirkland brand at Costco. That’s because, like the Chinet cups I just mentioned, you’ll see Ocean Spray right on the label, under the Kirkland name. So, you know who makes it.
Costco brand laundry products
There are rumors that the liquid laundry detergent in Kirkland containers is Persil laundry detergent. That’s yet unconfirmed.
Others, like Kim Rowley Lohrberg of the SavingK blog, have hypothesized that Costco dryer sheets were the same as Bounce.
Unfortunately, there is no evidence to support that either.
Plus, the article “The Secret Weapon Behind Costco’s Success” explains why Procter and Gamble (which makes Bounce dryer sheets among other products) does not make Costco’s store brand diapers.
It seems that P&G turned down Costco’s request way back when, because it is not in the business of doing private label deals. So, Kimberly-Clark got the gig instead.
This is all good information to have, as Costco continues to open more stores across the country, including the first Costco in Maine. It’s expected to open late 2023.
This article originally appeared on Food Drink Life