Costco shoppers know what great bargains are available at their local store, but might not be aware of how many of them are not only cheaper than other brands but also rated better as well. Gone are the days when cheap meant lower quality. Many Costco items made by Kirkland are better quality than what some other national brands are offering to the public at much higher prices.
And, frankly, there’s no warehouse store that can beat Costco’s Kirkland Signature Line of products. They make not only those old standby grocery list staple items but also things like luggage and apparel. The fact is that the high ratings that shoppers have given numerous Kirkland products have been instrumental in earning Costco sixth place in the supermarket ratings from Consumer Reports.
Costco has debunked that outdated notion that store brands are at least a good notch or two below national brands. They have done this through the use of the chain’s coast-to-coast strength for convincing suppliers that they should put both quality and value into all of the Kirkland Signature offerings. So, here are ten of the Kirkland Signature products that have received accolades recently from both critics and customers alike:
Buying batteries at warehouse clubs has long been recommended. That’s simply because, when you buy them in bulk, you’re paying much less per battery. For quality and value, Kirkland batteries from Costco have earned a “Best Buy” rating.
Kirkland Signature Colombian Supremo earned a “Best Buy” rating from Consumer Reports among numerous whole bean coffees. Only a few other Colombian coffees got a higher score for their taste, however, none of them was successful at competing with Kirkland’s price. And, that’s pretty good news for all Colombian coffee lovers who simply hate the higher cost as compared to, let’s say, a regular roast.
So, to go with that hot cup of Colombian coffee, how about some yummy bacon and eggs? In Consumer Reports’ bacon test program, Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand brought home the bacon. They were awarded the highest score among all other bacon and that was based on both texture and flavor. Consumer Reports actually said that it crisped up nicely and had a balance of meat and fat flavors that are complemented by a hint of sweetness and wood smoke flavor. As a matter of fact, major brand Oscar Mayer’s thick cut bacon only finished in second place.
Moving on to dinnertime, salmon makes the perfect main course. The taste, freshness and low price of Kirkland Signature Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon are true winners when you compare them to other stores like Whole Foods. The fillets are individually wrapped, and you can get a three-pound package for around $29 and generally wild caught Coho salmon fillets sell for around $17 a pound. And, just in case you didn’t notice, these are wild caught, not farm-raised. That means they are much better for you, not just better tasting.
5. Olive Oil
You might want to cook that amazing salmon in Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Costco. According to the University of California, Davis, a sensory and chemical study of various olive oils showed that it was one of just a few imported olive oils that managed to meet U.S. and international standards for extra virgin olive oil. Others fell short during testing because of dilution with cheaper oils, as well as flavor and quality problems.
6. Ice Cream
And, for dessert, how about some Kirkland’s Signature ice cream? Their Super Premium Vanilla Ice Cream received a Consumer Reports “Best Buy” rating as well. It was characterized as having a big dairy flavor that is both full and dense along with complex vanilla extract flavor. Perhaps major luxury ice cream brands, Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s, received a higher score for texture and flavor, however, you’ll be paying much more for either brand. And, Breyers actually ended up scoring lower in taste testing than Kirkland.
7. Greek Yogurt
Kirkland Signature Greek Yogurt has received a “Best Buy” label for the plain nonfat variety. Major Greek yogurt brand, Fage, received a higher taste score, but you’ll be paying almost twice as much for it.
8. Golf Balls
Yep, golf balls. Although all of the other nine products were of the food and drink variety, the truth is that Costco shoppers just love the new golf ball line. In fact, they loved them so much that they sold out, so Costco restocked them, but they sold out again just prior to Christmas! They’re called Kirkland Signature Four-Piece Urethane Cover Golf Balls, which is admittedly quite a mouthful. However, the pros are actually comparing them to Pro V1 golf balls from Titleist! And, that comparison is courtesy of Golf Digest. When available after the sellout, they come in a 24-pack for $30 and the fact is that 12-packs of Titleist Pro V1 golf balls from last season run $40 at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
9. Beer & Wine
OK, now let’s get to the important stuff, booze! And, for light beer lovers, Kirkland Signature Light Beer is your basic light beer without the aftertaste of Bud Light, plus it’s available in both 30 and 48 packs. In addition, if you prefer something heartier, Kirkland’s handcrafted ales have been rated higher on BeerAdvocate.com. And, wine snobs everywhere seem to be quite fond of Kirkland Signature wines and have been for many years now.
And, for those who prefer their spirits a bit stronger, there’s Kirkland Signature Vodka, which has been called a hands-down winner among vodka aficionados. Martinis anyone?