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Costco Kirkland products are actually items made by Duracell, Keurig, Reynolds, Starbucks, and other big names

You've been getting a deal on top-end products all along

Costco storefront
Mike Mozart/Flickr / Flickr

There’s something pretty astonishing that starts happening to everyone around the mid-30s mark. A pure, unadulterated love for Costco. Sure, there may have been a healthy appreciation in those younger years. A love for the $1.50 hot dog and soda deal, perhaps. An impromptu trip here or there with a parent whose card got you through the door. But somewhere between a first mortgage and a couple of kids, you probably started seeing the signs. They start subtly – a lingering gaze at the stacked sweatpants, tempting you with their fleecy softness. Asking the hair-netted sample lady if those mini artichoke quiches are organic. Before you know it, you have your own damned membership card, and all of your gym socks come in packs of 24. It’s happened to the best of us. And with this adoration for Costco inevitably comes the love for all things Kirkland, the beloved Costco brand whose label is stuck on just about anything you can find in the enormous store, from batteries to rotisserie chickens.

But have you ever wondered where those Kirkland products come from? If you’re anything like us, you may have just mindlessly assumed that there was some humungous Kirkland factory spewing out all of these products on some obscure, magical Nebraskan farm. Or, perhaps you’re more rational than that and actually realized that many Kirkland-labeled products are not uniquely Costco’s at all. Many of Costco’s popular Kirkland products actually come from big brand-name companies that allow Costco to rebrand them for a fee. Perhaps even more surprising is that this isn’t anything new or a process that’s only used by Costco. Many retailers tap big-name brands to do this.

So the next time you find yourself filling your Costco cart with tubs of more cashews than anyone will ever eat, take comfort in the fact that you’re probably getting an even better deal than you realize. These are a few of the big brands hiding under the disguise of a Kirkland label.

Duracell batteries


It turns out Duracell’s popular slogan, “No other battery looks like it. No other battery lasts like it,” is more than a little bit misleading. All of those megapacks of Kirkland AA and AAA batteries you see on display at Costco are actually Duracell. So while we have a little beef with the slogan, it’s actually a pretty wonderful deal when you consider the high cost of name-brand batteries.

Keurig machine
Tony Webster/Flickr


Keurig quickly became something of a coffee phenomenon some years back, and the enthusiasm for the brand, while calmer, is still very present in most homes. If you’re also a fan, we have good news. It turns out that many flavors of the Kirkland Signature K-Cups are supplied by none other than Keurig itself.

Reynold's Wrap foil
Mike Mozart/Flickr


This one is hiding in plain sight. If you look closely at that box of Kirkland aluminum foil, it actually reads Kirkland Signature Reynolds Foodservice Foil right there on the package. So if you’re picky about your foil being name-brand but still want to save a few bucks, Kirkland is the best of both worlds.

Starbucks cup
Sorin Sîrbu/Unsplash


This one is huge. If you haven’t noticed, Kirkland’s House Blend, Decaf House Blend, and Espresso Blend Dark Roast coffee packages now boast that the beans inside are roasted by Starbucks. With Keurig and Starbucks hiding behind the Kirkland mask, your top-notch morning brew just got a whole lot cheaper.

Closeup pizza


Costco pizza deserves to have an article all of its own. The food court’s popular pie is wildly successful, feeding the masses of hungry shoppers and childrens’ birthday party attendees since 1986. All for a mere $9.95 per pizza. And while customers can watch their fresh pizzas being made right before their eyes in the food court, the pizzas in the freezer section are something of a different story. Kirkland’s frozen pizzas are actually made by brand-name Palermo’s.

Costco storefront
Mike Mozart/Flickr

The Costco return policy is also incredible

With so many popular name brands behind Costco’s more frugal label, it’s hard to imagine wanting to return anything at all. However, should you find yourself in this situation, Costco makes the whole process miraculously painless. This is undoubtedly just one of the many reasons the warehouse store is so popular. Most stores make customers jump through fire-doused rings to get their money back from a returned item, but not Costco. Their generous policy allows customers to return just about anything for any reason. Apart from a few obvious exceptions like travel packages, alcohol, and cigarettes, Costco will take back just about anything at any time. Even snacks you opened and decided you didn’t like.

Kirkland lotion

People love Costco Kirkland more than big-name brands

Perhaps it’s the road we’re all currently on. Those of us whose distant admiration for Costco blossomed into something stronger, and now we sit, comfortable in our Kirkland sheepskin slippers, snacking from our 5-gallon tubs of bagel chips, arrogantly sure that it won’t happen to us. But there it looms in the possible future, like a giant inflatable kayak strung above the bath mats. The strange devotion. The fan pages. The clubs.

As great as the Kirkland brand can be, it should be no surprise that it has gathered quite a considerable flock of devotees. The fandom for all things Kirkland is immense and well…weird. Kirkland fan pages, accounts, and hashtags pepper social media sites heavily, drawing more and more people into the fold, and the whole thing feels a little strange. Be careful out there.

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Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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