1. Kirkland Signature 100% Maple Syrup

Multiple companies, including The Maple Treat and Citadelle, help produce this iconic Canadian delicacy for Costco. Both are major maple syrup suppliers, with The Maple Treat comprising about a quarter of the global market.

Kirkland Signature 100% Pure Maple Syrup gets tapped from maple trees in Quebec between mid-March to mid-April. The rich amber syrup is free of additional sweeteners and flavours, according The Costco Connection, the brand's print magazine.

So if you’re buying Kirkland, make sure you refrigerate after opening. It’s the real stuff.

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2. Kirkland Signature Lasagna

This Costco-branded “ultimate lasagna” is supplied by B.C.-based Zinetti Foods, a Canadian pasta-making company that’s been around since 1985 and prepares gourmet pastas and entrees under its own name and private labels.

The wholesaler teamed upwith Zinetti Foods in 2019 to produce its Kirkland Signature Italian Sausage and Beef Lasagna. Like its branded counterparts, the Kirkland Signature version is packed with cheese, meats and hand-layered pasta.

If you live in Western Canada and you’d like to compare the products for yourself, just pick up a Zinetti "Meat Lasagna with 4 Cheeses" from your local Costco warehouse and try to spot the difference.

3. Costco cooking oils

Costco sources its cooking oils from multiple companies all over the globe, including Certified Origins, which started as a collective of olive farmers in rural Italy that now operates in Spain and the US, as well. It markets its own brands — Bellucci and Rootie — but is responsible for some Kirkland Signature olive oils, too.

Gerard Jara, a co-founder of Certified Origins, told The Costco Connection that Kirkland Signature olive oil is “among the freshest available” since the wholesaler can move its products so quickly.

Additionally, Bridgewell Agribusiness LLC has provided Kirkland Signature coconut oil since 2014, while European importer Overseas Food Trading supplies other Kirkland cooking oils.

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4. Kirkland spices

At least some Kirkland Signature spices originate from “the largest manufacturer of salt and pepper mills in the world,”Olde Thompson.

The company produces seasonings, shakers, grinders, racks and refills under multiple private labels, and you can find its own brand of spices and sets marketed through Amazon and other retailers.

In an act of globetrotting, the pepper used in Kirkland Signature products comes from a farm in Vietnam that Olde Thompson sources its supply from, according to The Costco Connection.

5. Kirkland Tilapia Loins

It turns out that not one but two big seafood brands raise this Kirkland Signature protein.

We fished this secret out of The Costco Connection, which explains that Costco sources most of its frozen tilapia from Regal Springs and High Liner in Indonesia’s Lake Toba.

Regal Springs is a global white fish producer that farms antibiotic-free tilapia, but you’ll only find its own brand of Naturally Better Tilapia at retailers in the US.

High Liner is known more for its frozen breaded fish products, like fish sticks and fish cakes, but also produces frozen filets including tilapia, which you can also grab at your local Walmart.

6. Kirkland baby wipes

Those hefty, nine-pack boxes of Tencel baby wipes are a staple for new parents, and with good reason.

The Costco product is ultra-soft, fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, with 99% naturally derived ingredients.

Wet wipe manufacturer Nice-Pak, known for brands such as Nice ‘N Clean, Grime Boss and Wet Nap, also supplies baby wipes under the Kirkland Signature label.

7. Costco honey (hint: BeedMaid Honey)

Better bee-lieve it.

Costco gets its Kirkland Signature honey from Bee Maid, one of Canada’s top honey producers. Snag a bottle of BeeMaid 100% Pure Liquid Honey from another store and see if you can taste the difference.

More than 300 beekeepers work to harvest the sticky, sweet substance, providing a 100% Canadian product to consumers.

8. Kirkland Himalayan Salt Potato Chips (hint: Kettle Brand chips)

It’s pretty hard to miss the massive Kettle Brand logo on those bags of Kirkland Signature Himalayan Salt Kettle Chips.

The bags also feature Kettle Brand’s trademarked Krinkle Cut label, denoting the ruffled cut of the chip.

Kettle Brand markets a variety of potato chip flavours, from Maple Bacon to Wasabi Ranch. It has its own version of Himalayan Salt potato chips, but it’s cooked in avocado oil and doesn’t fall under its Krinkle Cut collection.

9. Costco prunes (hint: Sunsweet)

Like the Kettle Brand potato chips, Costco makes no secret of its Sunsweet pitted prunes.

The bright yellow Kirkland Signature bags come in a much bigger size, however, at 1.6 kg. Compare that to Sunsweet’s own Amaz!n Prunes line, which only offers 8 oz (0.23 kg) resealable bags and 16 oz (0.45 kg) canisters.

Sunsweet Growers, a California-based company with the largest dried tree fruit plant in the world, produces prunes, juices and specialty dried fruit like apricots and mangoes.

10. Kirkland nut bars

You’ll recognize this Canadian company for its bestselling Célébration butter cookies, but Leclerc Foods makes some popular nut bars, too.

Fox Business reports that Costco developed the Kirkland Signature Nut Bars with Leclerc when almond prices dropped in 2016. Each snack box holds 24 bars made from almonds, cashews and pecans, flavoured with cocoa drizzle and sea salt.

The Quebec-based snack food company produces cookies, crackers and snack bars, including its own Let’s Go Nuts! nut bar line.

11. Costco soy beverage (hint: Natura Soy Beverage)

Whether you’re lactose intolerant, vegan or just enjoy the taste, this dairy alternative could be a delectable and inexpensive option.

In 2017, Nutrisoya Foods Inc. — more commonly known as Natura Foods — issued a recall of Kirkland Signature Organic Soy Beverage due to swelling cartons.

The Quebec-based company produces soy, rice and almond beverages in a variety of flavours under its Natur-a brand.

14. Kirkland pet food (hint: Diamond Pet Foods)

Websites including Dog Food Insider claim that Kirkland Signature Dog Food is actually manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods, also known as Schell and Kampeter, Inc.

That might not be enough evidence on its own, but in 2012 the Kirkland brand was part of a recall for Diamond dry pet foods following a salmonella outbreak at Diamond’s production plant in South Carolina. Various Kirkland Signature and Nature’s Domain dog food formulas and one cat food formula were named.

There’s been no word of a break with Diamond following the incident, and the Kirkland brand remains popular with pet lovers.

15. Costco coffee (hint: Starbucks)

Even coffee snobs may be intrigued by a few of Costco’s relatively inexpensive house blends, which boast of their ties to the world’s largest coffeehouse chain.

Kirkland offers certain varieties of its house blend with the stamp, “Custom roasted by Starbucks.”

The two-and-a-half-pound Starbucks-affiliated bags include Kirkland’s Signature House Blend Medium Roast and Espresso Blend Dark Roast.

16. Kirkland candy (hint: Jelly Belly)

It’s in the name.

Costco openly teamed up with candy company Jelly Belly to sell its signature “gourmet” jelly beans. You can get 2.4-pound bags of sugary goodness featuring 44 different flavours, such as Buttered Popcorn, Dark Chocolate and Tutti-Fruitti.

Not quite as indulgent as the four-pound, 49-flavour tubs you can get in the States, but more than enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.

17. Costco disposable cups (hint: Chinet and Big Red cups)

A staple at house parties, Costco’s giant packs of disposable red cups come from a familiar place.

The packaging clearly bears the blue Chinet logo under “Kirkland Signature” and next to the bold title “The Big Red Cup.”

The American company Chinet has produced disposable tableware such as plates, bowls and cutlery for over 90 years and sells them through other big retailers like Walmart.

18. Kirkland motor oil

Warren Oil Company is speculated to be the manufacturer behind Walmart’s Super Tech and Amazon’s AmazonBasics motor oils, but we can confirm it supplies the Kirkland variety.

Kirkland Signature Full Synthetic SAE 5W-30 Motor Oil displays its maker in fine print on the back of the jug: “Manufactured by Warren Distribution, Inc.”

Warren, which claims to be one of North America’s largest independent lubricant manufacturers, markets its products around the world under several brands, such as MAG 1, and under private labels as well.

19. Costco chocolate almonds

Turns out those addictive packs of chocolate-covered nuts you grab at Costco to snack on your drive home come from the “manufacturers of the finest chocolates since 1939.”

The wholesaler gets its Kirkland Signature chocolate through Blommer Chocolate Company, the largest cocoa processor and chocolate ingredient supplier in North America.

Together, Costco and Blommer developed a sustainability program for cocoa sourcing in West Africa’s Ivory Coast, where most of the store’s chocolate comes from. According to The Costco Connection, the farming agreement ensures a high quality and traceable product while providing fair wages, education and other services to local communities.

20. Kirkland balsamic vinegar

You don’t need to look hard to source this one. Kirkland Signature Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena boasts of its 100-year-old manufacturer on the bottle.

Costco partnered with Modena-based company Acetum all the way back in 1999 to produce its balsamic vinegar, according to The Costco Connection.

“Balsamic Vinegar of Modena” is a protected title that can only be applied to products that fit certain geographical and processing standards.

21. Kirkland mattress (hint: Stearns & Foster mattress)

Mattresses probably aren’t the first item on your Costco shopping list, but the company does offer a generous selection that includes Novaform and Sleep Science, as well as its own Kirkland brand.

The Kirkland Signature mattress, however, is the result of Costco’s partnership with Stearns & Foster. The Kirkland Signature by Stearns & Foster Lakeridge Mattress uses memory foam and gel foam and comes in king, California king and queen sizes.

The company dates back to 1846, when Seth Foster and G.S. Stearns got together to manufacture cotton goods for horse carriage upholstery. They later moved on to hotel mattresses.

22. Costco brie (hint: Isigny Ste-Mère brie)

Normandy-based Isigny Ste-Mère exports its butters, creams and cheeses around the world and provides Costco with its store brand brie.

Isigny suggests cutting the top off, layering on some honey and raw sugar, then sticking it under the broiler for a delicious brûléed brie.

Double up on savings at Costco using a cashback Mastercard

Costco only accepts Mastercard at its stores, so Costco members need to own and use at least one Mastercard to shop at the warehouse. To get the most of this expenditure, Costco members should consider what card to use — pick the right one for your needs and you could cash-in on cashback or quickly accumulate loyalty points. Search the Money guide to the credit cards best used for Costco purchases, or check out these popular options:

  • BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard: Get 10% cashback in your first three months of spending and 5% cashback on groceries after the promotional period. The $120 annual fee is waived for the first year for new cardholders, plus the card offers complimentary roadside assistance.
  • RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard: Get unlimited cashback on your spending, plus complimentary Boingo Wifi account — a great option if you like to drive to the US for your Costco purchases. There's an annual fee of $99 and new cardholders must earn a minimum of $80,000 per year to qualify ($150,000 per household).
  • CIBC Costco Mastercard: With no annual fee and no fee for additional cardholders, you can start earing up to 3% cashback on eligible purchases.
  • BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard: Get up to 90,000 loyalty points — just over $600 in travel credits — as a signup bonus. Plus, for the first year the $150 annual fee is waived for both the primary cardholder and authorized users. While this Mastercard is primarily used by shoppers focused on travel rewards, using it at Costco can help cardholders quickly collect loyalty rewards. Pair it with the Costco Executive membership to collect both travel rewards and 2% Costco cashback.
  • Rogers World Elite Mastercard: This Rogers card gives cardholders 1.5% cashback on all purchases, including Costco, and 3% cashback on all USD purchases.

— with files from Serah Louis

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David Saric Associate Editor, Money.ca

A Toronto-based writer and editor with both in-house and freelance experience on a variety of topics, including art, fashion, pop culture, film, television, music, current affairs, breaking news, and managing and money and P&C insurance.

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