Stroll through any Costco, and you’ll find it hard not to notice brand-name products stacked right next to displays of Costco’s own Kirkland Signature brand. Costco’s thinking is clear: Remind the customers that while they can surely spend extra for a familiar label, they’ll save money by buying the Kirkland version.
And it’s been a profitable venture for the company. According to The Wall Street Journal, as of 2017, about a quarter of Costco’s $118.7 billion in annual sales comes from Kirkland Signature products, and the percentage continues to grow.
Kirkland Signature products might look awfully familiar to savvy shoppers. The Journal reports that before Costco develops a Kirkland Signature version of a product, the company usually gives a big brand-name supplier the chance to make the Kirkland version, too. While some companies decline, plenty more agree.
Here’s a look at the name brands behind Costco’s private-label products.
Batteries aren’t the most exciting purchase to make, but you’ll always need to have some around, just in case.
Costco CEO Craig Jelinek confirmed in an interview that Kirkland Signature alkaline batteries are actually made by big-name brand Duracell, as we reported in “9 Generic Products You Should Be Buying at Costco.”
Diapers take a huge chunk out of most parents’ budgets, and families need to keep a big stock handy. So they make for a great warehouse-store buy.
Costco’s Kirkland diapers are made by Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Huggies (which are also sold at Costco), according to The Wall Street Journal.
Costco is based in the Seattle area, so a collaboration with Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee seems like a natural fit.
Just read the labels – several Kirkland Signature coffee products, such as medium roast whole-bean coffee, and dark roast espresso blend whole-bean coffee, boast right on the packaging that they are custom-roasted by Starbucks.
Yes, Costco even sells hearing aids, of all things. The company has collaborated with Swiss hearing-care solution company Sonova, which manufactures hearing aids for Costco, according to The Hearing Review.
6. Diamond Pet Foods
Fido and Fluffy would appreciate it if you don’t run out of their food, so buying pet food in bulk at Costco is a purr-fect plan.
Diamond Pet Foods makes all of the Kirkland Signature dry pet foods, and it’s even all-American. All the food is made in company-owned facilities in the U.S.
7. Jelly Belly
With such flavors as toasted marshmallow and strawberry daiquiri, Jelly Belly jelly beans are one classy candy.
Costco has teamed up with the candy company to sell giant variety packs of the treats under the Kirkland Signature brand. How sweet it is.
8. Ocean Spray
Love the sweet-tart taste of cranberry juice? Kirkland Signature cranberry juice is made by powerhouse brand Ocean Spray, using all North American cranberries with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
9. Chinet cups
Plastic red cups just scream “party,” even though parties have been few and far between during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chinet, the well-recognized disposable paper goods company, is the big name behind the Kirkland Signature party cups. Stock up now — parties are coming back, or so we hope.