What Big Brand Names Are Behind Costco's Popular Kirkland Signature Products?



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Secret Stash

If you don’t know Kirkland Signature, Costco’s white label house brand, you should if you want quality at a discount. Just about everything Kirkland sells is a home run, and much like Trader Joe’s, one eventually starts to wonder why. How can it be that everything K-Sig touches turns to gold? Turns out that in a lot of cases, Costco has major brands doing the heavy lifting. From coffee and wine to motor oil and dog food, check out the surprising brands behind some of Costco’s signature (pun heavily intended) products.

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K-Cup Coffee Pods

K-Cup Pods: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

The popular Keurig cup company Green Mountain Coffee Roasters signed a deal with Costco in 2012 to produce the Kirkland Signature brand of K-Cups, according to Reuters. Available in Pacific Bold, Medium Roast, and Breakfast Blend, these coffee pods let buyers enjoy coffee savings at Costco even Amazon can’t match. 

Ground Coffee Beans Spilled from a Coffee Scoop
Michelle Lee Photography/istockphoto

Ground Coffee: Starbucks

If you’ve ever felt like there was something oddly familiar about Costco’s ground coffee, it’s probably because it is the most familiar coffee that this country has ever known. Costco’s house coffee is produced by Seattle’s favorite siren, Starbucks. That said, it shouldn’t be the world’s biggest mystery considering the coffee has the Starbucks logo plastered across the front of the packaging.

Related: What Costco Samplers Wish Customers Knew

Duracell Plus AA battery

Batteries: Duracell

Kirkland batteries have always had that little extra oomph, and after the not-so-surprising reveal in this interview that Duracell is behind them, we understand why. Second only to Energizer in brand recognition, Duracell is known for lasting longer than typical batteries, so it’s a good thing Costco’s gotten its hands on them. 

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Hungry dog

Dog Food: Diamond Naturals

You may be willing to slum it when buying food at a grocery store, but you don’t want your dog to follow suit. Luckily, at Costco that’s not a problem. Dog Food Insider reveals Kirkland chow is made by Diamond Naturals. Widely considered to be amongst the best (if not the best) dog food, rest assured knowing that buying in Costco-sized bulk won’t affect your pup’s favorite meal.

Related: Best Dog Food Buy at Costco, According to Experts

Baby Milk Formula and Baby Bottles

Infant Formula: Perrigo

According to its own website, the company behind Kirkland Signature’s infant formula is none other than Perrigo, a consistently-lauded brand of formula. With the exorbitant amount of money that a newborn already costs, it’s nice to know that there’s at least one aspect where some savings can be achieved.

stack of baby diaper on table,
towfiqu ahamed/istockphoto

Diapers: Huggies

To keep newborn savings rolling, Kirkland Signature offers the opportunity to grab the country’s most recognizable brand at Costco prices. Made by Kimberly-Clark, the producer of Huggies, you can stock your house with all the toxin-free Huggies goodness you can fit in your cupboard. 

Plastic cups

Red Cups: Chinet

Another Kirkland Signature product with the real manufacturer’s logo printed on the wrap, this one shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Chinet isn’t quite known for solo cups — more for the brand’s small crystal and coffee cups — but Costco is stocking every college party full of red cups with its help. Snap up 240 cups for $14? That’s a college student’s dream.

Large Number of Packed Bottled Drinking Water with Blue Caps
Ake Dynamic/istockphoto

Water: Niagara Bottling

Though buying bottled water isn’t typically the best way to save money (or the planet), grabbing some Costco-style bulk water generally ends up costing about 10 cents per bottle. The brand responsible? It’s California-based bottling company, Niagara — and same goes for its ever-popular sparkling water.

Glass with fresh organic cranberry juice.
Dmitrii Ivanov/istockphoto

Cranberry Juice: Ocean Spray

Sometimes there’s a reason only one brand rises above the rest — when it comes to cranberry juice, it’s hard to even think of anybody besides Ocean Spray. Recognizing that it is undeniably the cranberry juice cocktail king (honorable mention to the Trader Joe’s 100% cranberry juice), it’s a good thing the logo stares you right in the face when you peruse the Costco juice aisle. No tiki cocktail or elementary school lunch is complete without it.

Canned tuna fish in bowl

Tuna: Bumble Bee Tuna

Chances are high that you’re already humming the Bumble Bee Tuna jingle as you read this, so you already know exactly what kind of brand recognition the company has. According to EVP Tim Rose, Bumble Bee’s canned albacore is the life force behind Kirkland Signature’s tuna, so you can hum the jingle in Costco all you want to.

Cooked Bacon in Cast Iron Pan

Bacon: Hormel Foods

There are a lot of good things happening with Costco’s pre-cooked bacon that goes beyond just the price (Kirkland’s bacon is about 20% cheaper than most other brands). Produced by Hormel Foods, the bacon Costco is slinging is some of the tastiest out there as well as some of the more humanely produced. As reported in Supermarket News, when Costco couldn’t find a precooked bacon of sufficient quality, it asked current bacon supplier, Hormel, to make one, which is co-branded. 

Pizza in an oven

Frozen Pizzas: Palermo

A bit of a legend in the frozen pizza community (it was the first to introduce a rising crust,) Palermo Pizza is the company making Kirkland Signature’s frozen pizzas. This has actually gotten Costco into trouble in the past. When Palermo was dealing with a massive worker strike, there were many people who called for the boycott of Costco in 2012 unless it dropped Palermo as its supplier. 

Milk Chocolate Almond Bark

Chocolate Almonds: Blommer Chocolate Company

Sitting right up there in the office snack hall of fame, chocolate almonds are an underrated but crucial Costco purchase. Blommer, a heavyweight in the chocolate world for over 80 years, is the one in the cockpit for these almonds, as revealed in Costco Connection Magazine, which turns out to be a real thing. And not to mention, $17 for a jar bigger than your head is an absolute steal. 

Jelly beans background

Jelly Beans: Jelly Belly

There are certain brands, like Heinz, that leave absolutely no room for competitors. Costco knows this, and it’s smart enough not to hide the Jelly Belly logo from the front of its jelly beans. Nobody does it better than Jelly Belly (especially those drool-worthy sours), and Kirkland Signature knows better than to trick customers out of the only brand that they really crave.

Peanut Butter Stuffed Pretzels

Peanut Butter Pretzels: H.K. Anderson

If chocolate almonds are the pride and joy of the Costco snack game, peanut butter pretzels are the heart and soul. How people are capable of not eating an entire container in one sitting is beyond us, and it makes a lot of sense that H.K. Anderson’s handiwork is at play. These stuffed pretzels are unreasonably good. Maybe double up next time you shop, as they’ll go fast.

Cheeseboard and biscuits at outdoor party

Brie: Isigny Ste. Mère

Kirkland Signature is going all out for its cheese, importing French brie from Normandy according to Costco Connection magazine. Made from grass-fed cows and clocking in at 60% butterfat, this cheese is the good stuff.

Chef decorating a plate with tomatos basi and olive oil

Balsamic Vinegar: Acetum

In the great search for the truth behind Costco’s major brands, not all of them are that shrouded in mystery. Yet another Kirkland product with the true manufacturer’s logo printed on the bottle, balsamic vinegar is a pretty common purchase at America’s favorite warehouse. Modena-based company Acetum makes some of the best you can find, and once again, Kirkland’s smart to slap its name on the bottle. That’s what we call synergy.

Shiny Aluminum foil on wooded table.

Aluminum Foil: Reynolds

Another company on the Heinz or Jelly Belly level of brand recognition, Reynolds Wrap has been the king of the aluminum foil world for over 100 years. Costco and Reynolds are working together for the Kirkland Signature aluminum foil in a not-so-secret way, popping the Reynolds logo right next to the Kirkland Signature one. 

Pouring oil to car engine. Fresh motor oil poured during an oil change to a car
Phynart Studio/istockphoto

Motor Oil: Warren

Sometimes all you need to uncover the truth behind a Kirkland Signature product is a close look at the label. As it reads, Costco’s motor oil is “Manufactured by Warren Distribution,” and that’s always a good thing. It makes sense to be concerned about what you’re actually dumping into your car when it needs oil, and in this case, Costco has the goods

Mattress on a bed close up. Home bedroom interior detail, high angle view .

Mattresses: Stearns & Foster

This is another scenario where Costco is smart to keep a third party distributor in the public eye — Stearns & Foster, who makes its mattresses, is nothing short of a luxury brand. That means you’re getting your mattress at Costco prices, and when sleep is already a costly (but incredibly worthy) expense, this is a very good thing. A third of your life is spent snoozing. Spend the money.

Amber Ale

Beer: Gordon Biersch Brewing & Matt Brewing

In a not-so-typical-for–Costco move, it has decided to tag-team things. Each side of the country has its own Kirkland Signature beer, with the San Jose, CA-based Gordon Biersch brewing beers for the West Coast and the Utica, NY-based Matt Brewing handling things on the East Coast. Both breweries are as reliable as can be, and Costco’s selection of brews is abundant. So no matter what coast you’re on, you’re going to be just fine.

Rose Wine Alfresco

Rosé: Olivier Sumeire

Produced in the Côtes de Provence Appellation of France, Costco’s rosé, like most of the store’s alcohol, is nothing to scoff at. The bottle boasts that it’s made by Olivier Sumeire, an eighth generation grape grower and vintner. A French rosé from a legacy family might sound like it comes with a sizable price tag, but Costco will sell you a bottle for $10. 


Côtes du Rhône: Patrick Lesec

In typical Costco fashion, the store isn’t messing around with its winemakers. The label explains that vintner Patrick Lesec is behind its Côtes du Rhônes. Lesec is a well-decorated winemaker with a hefty amount of recognition for the quality he puts out. And $7 for a bottle of fine French wine? That’s the type of deal worth getting behind.  

Closeup of of wine glass and process of pouring white wine, corkscrew and cork on the white marble table.Empty space
Viktoriia Oleinichenko/istockphoto

Sauvignon Blanc: Ti Point

You might think that Costco is stuck in France when it comes to wine, but it’s not afraid to expand to New Zealand. Also retailing for a mere $7, Ti Point’s sauvignon blanc consistently lands high ratings on more than a few wine blogs thanks to its citrus and herb start. Costco, you’ve done it again.

Still life. pour or whiskey in to glass

Scotch: Alexander Murray & Co.

Though the infamous Kirkland Signature/Grey Goose vodka situation is only an unfounded rumor, there’s still plenty of firepower behind the spirits that Costco’s selling. Award-winning Alexander Murray produces Costco’s Scotch, so grab yourself a nice crystal decanter, pour yourself a nice afternoon Scotch like you’re in an episode of Mad Men, and nobody will know that a beautiful 12-year-old Scotch only costs you $25. 

Beautiful Woman Putting Eye Lenses With Hands

Contact Lenses: CooperVision

Out there in the real world, you won’t be able to get your hands on a box of CooperVision lenses for less than $80. But at Costco (not the real world)? Less than $60. K-Sig’s contact lenses are manufactured by CooperVision, so it’s hard to argue with such glaring savings.

Fish oil capsules with omega 3 and vitamin D in a glass bottle on wooden texture, healthy diet concept, close up shot.
batuhan toker/istockphoto

Fish Oil Pills: Trident Seafoods

Looking for something to support mental, heart, and eye health? Want to reduce inflammation and support healthy skin? Or get something to make your burps taste horrible? There are a great many benefits that omega-3 salmon oil pills can give to you, but they tend to be expensive. Seattle-based company Trident Seafood is the one producing the Kirkland Signature pills, and at less than $20 a bottle for over 200 pills, it’s a great deal. That said, both Costco and Trident Seafoods in 2018 came under fire when a lawsuit claimed that the fish oil pills allegedly didn't quite deliver on what the amount of omega fatty acids promised on the label.

Related: 19 Health Products and Services That Cost Less at Costco