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Kirkland Brand Products
Old 04-27-2014, 07:42 PM   #1
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Kirkland Brand Products

I just returned from my periodic trip to Costco today, having spent close to $200 on groceries and few small impulse purchases. I now find that almost everything I buy there is Kirkland brand, and I make a point to seek out the Kirkland name on products over the name brand.

In the past few trips to Costco, I've purchased Kirkland brand wine, dress shirts, t-shirts, underwear, toilet paper, organic peanut butter, pecan crisps, salmon, fiber capsules, and K-cups.

In years past I seem to remember buying the Kirkland brand because it saved money over the cost of a similar name brand item. But over the past few years, it has occurred to me that the quality of the Kirkland products now seem to surpass the name brand products in almost every category. I think I would actually pay more for the Kirkland brand, but it's great to see that I don't have to.

I also remember being slightly embarrassed serving Kirkland wine at a dinner party, but now it seems to be greatly appreciated and acknowledged as to how great their store brand wine selections have become.

Have others noticed that the Kirkland name brand seems to stand for high quality as much as it does for great value? Are there any Kirkland products out there that you've noticed are either significantly better or worse than the name brand equivalents?
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:03 PM   #2
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I've been curious about the Kirkland brand because some things have the Kirkland name and the Brand name. I was looking at the jelly beans for my bil, he loves Jelly Belly brand. The container had both Kirkland and Jelly Belly on it. So are the Kirkland brands just other brands that are made special for Costco and branded for them?
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:09 PM   #3
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Yep, it is our default option. Among other things, Consumer Reports fund when they tested oil labeled as extra virgin olive oil that Kirkland brand was about the only one that was not routinely adulterated with lower grades of oil.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:20 PM   #4
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I go to Costco at least once a week (pretty much the only way one can afford to live in Hawaii). I used to be a bit hesitant about buying the Kirkland brand,since they often have coupons for name brands which make them cost competitive with Kirkland brand.

Then I saw a CNBC special on Costco and really changed my thinking. The amount of testing they do on things like toilet paper is amazing. I started to prefer Kirkland brand to name brands (and of course being cheaper is a bonus.)

The final hold out for me was wine, and damn it even their wine is good quality..

In the the ER forum holy trinity of Vanguard, PenFed, and Costco.. Costco is by far my #1 choice.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:48 PM   #5
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I've been curious about the Kirkland brand because some things have the Kirkland name and the Brand name. I was looking at the jelly beans for my bil, he loves Jelly Belly brand. The container had both Kirkland and Jelly Belly on it. So are the Kirkland brands just other brands that are made special for Costco and branded for them?
I can't prove it, 100% in food, but many brands are the same.

Years ago I worked in the auto parts industry. Walker was the big name brand in stock exhaust systems. Their pipes, clamps, mufflers were also branded: NAPA, Sears, Kmart, and TRW. Same product, same part number, different label. We spent many hours cutting off the other label's to replace with a generic Walker labels.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:01 PM   #6
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The only Kirkland thing we won't touch at this time is their toilet paper. Don't like it personally. My cousin did a little test on it as well and tossed a couple of bits of different toilet papers in water and let them sit there for a few days. The Kirkland did not break down very well. Both my cousin and I are on septic systems......so toilet paper not breaking down is a no-no for us. VERY unscientific test....but.... I would check it out myself, but there is no point since both my wife and I didn't much like it anyway after we bought a big pack.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:37 PM   #7
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F4, did it rub you the wrong way?
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:44 PM   #8
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F4, did it rub you the wrong way?
You do realize what your site name can mean in the UK?
Very appropriate for this topic.

Can't even remember why we didn't like it (it's been most of a year since we tried it....we are both Charmin Ultra Soft people. Spoiled, that's us.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:58 PM   #9
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You do realize what your site name can mean in the UK?
Very appropriate for this topic.

Can't even remember why we didn't like it (it's been most of a year since we tried it....we are both Charmin Ultra Soft people. Spoiled, that's us.
LOL, never considered that when I picked my handle!

And +1 on the Charmin Ultra Soft. Life's too short to go cheap on TP.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:06 PM   #10
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Retireec motto: If Costco does not have it, you probably don't really need it. ;-)
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:14 PM   #11
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Retireec motto: If Costco does not have it, you probably don't really need it. ;-)
Have they started stocking ammo in your area yet?
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:46 PM   #12
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Variable. Some Kirkland stuff is quite good, other stuff barely passable in quality. K's current "athletic shoes" are absolute throw-away garbage. Feel OK at 1st but just don't last. Apparently their earlier version was better. And I'm just finishing up a big bag of K's almonds. OK, but not much cheaper than Blue Diamond & a real notch below in quality. Check out specific items via Costco's web site reviews, which I've found to be pretty open & honest.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:16 PM   #13
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We have a bit of fun trying to find out which original name brand Costco put a Kirkland brand label over. Costco does a good quality control on picking excellent brand for "Kirkland" items.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:19 PM   #14
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Kirkland vodka is really good, imho.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:23 AM   #15
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I too gravitate toward Kirkland branded items. I have seen several shows that discuss how Costco buyers evaluate and purchase "Kirkland" products. They appear to be aiming at the sweet spot of price+quality. I like ERhoosier's suggestion to look at the online reviews. Costco buyers can't be expected to get everything right and we saw in another recent thread that on some of these choices (e.g. movies) the wisdom of herds can be valuable. Maybe that principle applies to product brands as well.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:15 AM   #16
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Standard dry-cell batteries. Began using them in 1996, and ever since. this was before offbrand batteries became available. I use hundreds over the course of a year, so this is not a small expense. Early on, I did load and usage tests using small battery powered devices. The Kirkland brand was almost exactly the same as the better known Eveready or Duracell brands, at less than half the price. No longer live near a Costco, but a good friend brings me a new supply a few times a year.

Wiki on the Kirkland brand.
Costco - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:24 AM   #17
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Then I saw a CNBC special on Costco and really changed my thinking.
I saw that show, very interesting about the testing they do. If the nearest store wasn't 23 miles away we'd probably go there. And I have a real mental issue with the membership fee. "Lemme get this straight. You want me to pay you to spend my money in your store?"

Probably not ever gonna happen.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:27 AM   #18
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Obviously not 100%, but on-line reviews can also give more details about products that may be useful to your specific use. Those Kirkland athletic shoes may be crap for a 40-50 mi/wk runner, but perfect for someone who just needs a pair for week's vacation.

Also- Costco seems to get unique versions of brand name products which can be good buys. Lately they've had Callaway golf gloves way below golf shop prices with only difference I can see is that Costco version does not have the ball mark button on the cuff. (Useless info for non-golfers, but you get the idea).
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:37 AM   #19
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I agree, Kirkland brand is superior. Consumer reports agrees that diapers are excellent quality AND best value around. It's why we started the membership when we had out firstborn. I love their wet wipes too. Excellent value and sensitive skin friendly. I am also loyal to their paper towels but still buy scott brand toilet paper there (1000 sheets per roll can't be beat).
For baking, I had a baker coworker specifically have me pick up Kirkland baking chocolate chips. She said she heard they were excellent- and good price too.
I did but salmon burgers and later read reviews to be careful because that some stores are substituting with much inferior product. That is the concern with any well recognized brand. Once they are established, people will buy for the name while the product quality can still be reduced. I swear Gymboree kid clothes have reduced their quality over the past few years.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:49 AM   #20
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Kirkland vodka is really good, imho.
+1 on the Vodka. I buy the six times distilled. Supposedly the higher priced Kirkland Vodka is made by Grey Goose at basically half the cost of their 1.75L bottle.

If I was still a martini drinker I would go for that. If you're mixing no reason to go for the higher priced bottle.
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