4 Surprising Things About Costco's Kirkland Products

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  • Costco's Kirkland signature brand is a big money-maker.
  • While you can snag great deals on Kirkland products, they're not always the best deal.
  • Some of the Kirkland products you see in stores are made by brands that are very well-known.

If you've ever shopped at Costco, you've probably seen your fair share of Kirkland products on the shelves, from baked goods to snacks to paper goods. Kirkland is Costco's signature brand, so it makes sense for it to have a huge presence in your local warehouse club store. Here are some interesting facts about Kirkland products.

1. They're extremely profitable for Costco

You may not be so surprised to learn that Kirkland products are a nice source of revenue for Costco. But check this out -- for the fiscal year ending in August of 2021, Kirkland products brought in a whopping $58 billion of sales.

2. They're often made by major brands

Think of Kirkland products as the equivalent of generic medications. You get the same results, only at a fraction of the price. That's because you're not paying for marketing and fancy labels.

But it may surprise you to learn that a number of Kirkland products are actually made by major brands you're probably familiar with. Costco will often reach out and ask those companies to produce a Kirkland version of their products. So if you've ever thought to yourself, "I'd rather not take a chance on Kirkland," realize that you may not be taking a chance at all, because in reality, you're buying a product you already consume.

And in case you're curious, some of Costco's Kirkland coffee is made by none other than Starbucks. It even says so on the label.

3. You can buy them on sale

You might assume that because Kirkland products are available at such a low price point to begin with, you can't snag a further discount on them. But that's not true.

Costco rotates its sale items on a monthly basis, and often, you'll have an opportunity to buy Kirkland products at a lower price than what they usually retail for. Right now, for example, Costco is offering $6 off a 10-pound bag of its Kirkland Signature Chicken Wings though May 18.

4. They're not always the cheapest option

Buying Kirkland brand products will often result in a lower credit card tab than buying name-brand products. But that doesn't mean you'll always get the best deal on Kirkland items.

If your supermarket has a well-known brand on sale, that could end up being the more cost-effective bet. Plus, if you're willing to buy other store brands, they might be cheaper than Kirkland.

As an example, a 12-pack of Kirkland Signature Paper Towels is $22.99 at Costco online in the New York metro area (do note that Costco prices vary by region). Meanwhile, you can buy a 12-pack of Amazon Basics paper towels for $16.89. Now, the Kirkland paper towel rolls have 160 sheets apiece, whereas Amazon's only have 150. But still, Amazon's offer is the better deal, especially since you can save an extra 15% by ordering its paper towels via the Subscribe and Save program.

Loading up on Kirkland products could result in getting to keep more cash in your savings account. Best of all, one thing Costco is known for is standing behind the products it sells. So if you decide to spend money on Kirkland products, you can rest assured that you're getting items that are high in quality. And if you end up feeling differently, Costco is more than reasonable when it comes to giving out refunds.

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