- Buying certain products in bulk at Costco is well worth the trip.
- Costco's high-quality food products like its rotisserie chicken and hot dog haven't changed prices in years.
- Other staples such as toilet paper, bacon, and coffee are the same quality and cheaper at Costco than its competitors.
These seven products are must-buys at Costco.
The average customer shops at Costco on a Saturday or Sunday every two to three weeks, about 23 trips a year. They also purchase nine items with a total cost of $114 per shopping trip. There is no such thing as a quick trip to Costco. Shopping at Costco is an all-day affair for me, but it is worth battling through the long lines and fighting for parking so I can buy these seven products.
You can't go wrong with Costco's rotisserie chickens. These chickens are sold at a heavy discount, the price has stayed the same at $4.99 since 2009! Costco sells hundreds of millions of chickens per year and loses $30 million to $40 million a year on them. Why is it willing to lose money on one of its most popular products?
Costco brilliantly places its chickens in the very back of the warehouse. By driving more foot traffic into the store and in the back section, its goal is to encourage you to purchase things you normally wouldn't. Is it working? Last year, Costco had one of its best years on record. Total sales for Costco in 2021 were $192 billion, an increase of 18% from 2020. Costco's net income, or profit, increased 25% to $5 billion.
2. Toilet paper
Ever since the great toilet paper shortage during COVID, I buy an extra pack just in case. I don't like spending money on toilet paper, but it is a constant need. I am probably not the only one thinking that Costco's best-selling item is toilet paper. It sells more than a billion rolls every year of the popular private-label Kirkland brand.
Bacon goes well with almost anything. Per Consumer Reports, Costco's Kirkland bacon was rated No. 1 in its taste test. The Kirkland Signature Hickory Smoked Bacon is crispy and has the right balance of fat and meat flavors. Even better, Costco sells it at $6.25 a pound, which is about $1.25 lower than its competitors.
4. Kirkland Signature Trail Mix
I am always on the go, and Costco's trail mix is the perfect balance between heart-healthy fats and satisfying my sweet tooth. At $4 per pound, Costco's prices are 50% cheaper than a similar brand on Amazon.
5. Food court
Inflation has forced prices higher except for Costco's food court hot dogs. In fact, the $1.50 cost of a hot dog and soda hasn't changed since 1985! This is why Costco sells 100 million hot dogs every year. Inflation did hit Costco somewhat, as it raised prices for chicken bakes $1 to $3.99 and sodas by $0.10 to $0.69. The price of a pizza has stayed the same, costing $9.95. Even with the price hike on two of its beloved items, Costco is still lower compared to most of its competitors.
Costco sells 382 products under the Kirkland brand. Not many know that top national brands are also the third-party manufacturer for Kirkland Signature products. The only difference? Lower prices and the distinct black, red, and white label and packaging. Several varieties of Kirkland Signature coffee are custom-roasted by Starbucks Coffee Company.
This includes the 2.5 pound Kirkland Signature Espresso Blend Coffee, Decaf House Blend Coffee, and Regular House Coffee. The Kirkland Signature Espresso Blend Coffee sells for $4.80 per pound. Costco sells the 2.5 pound Starbucks French Roast Whole Bean Coffee at $6.60 per pound, so you're saving quite a bit by buying pretty much the same Starbucks coffee under the Kirkland brand.
Costco sells over $7 billion in clothes every year, more than Old Navy or Neiman Marcus. While Costco sells its own private label Kirkland clothing line, it also offers apparel from name brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Eddie Bauer, Birkenstock, North Face, and more. Costco sells these high-quality clothes at its typical low prices.
Selling high-quality products at low prices is what keeps customers coming back. Costco's member renewal rate was 91% in the U.S. and Canada and 89% worldwide. Costco saw incredible growth in 2021, with its revenue increasing by almost one-fifth from the previous year. Costco has a devoted following that enjoys the savings, and there is no sign that member loyalty is fading.
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