We compared products from Costco's Kirkland Signature brand with the same items from Trader Joe's brand to see which beloved private label is better
- Costco and Trader Joe's both have their devotees.
- Both stores sell groceries and have their own in-house brands that help keep prices down.
- Costco's Kirkland Signature brand and Trader Joe's namesake brand are almost always cheaper than regular name brands products because they get cut out middlemen in the supply chain that can drive up costs by buying goods directly from the supplier.
- We tested five products from Costco's Kirkland Signature brand and five from the Trader Joe's brand to see which was the better private label.
- Trader Joe's won almost every time.
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Trader Joe's and Costco have more in common than people think.
Though the warehouse store sells everything from jewelry to clothes, it also has a large grocery section and sells dozens of products under its own in-house label, Kirkland Signature.With 488 stores across the US, Trader Joe's is primarily a grocery chain, but it also has its own private label.
Both Trader Joe's and Costco get certain products directly from suppliers and rebrand products under their own in-house labels. This move cuts out middlemen in the supply chain that can drive up prices. As a result, these products are often of the same quality - or higher - than name-brand products, but are generally much cheaper.
When we compared the shopping experience of both stores, the grocery chain came out on top. But for this comparison, we put products from both in-house brands in five head-to-heads to see which brand was superior. We compared peanut butter pretzels, popcorn, animal crackers, granola, and almonds.
The products from Trader Joe's were naturally cheaper because Costco sells its merchandise almost exclusively in bulk. For this reason, we did not include prices in this comparison, as Trader Joe's was cheaper in every instance.
With the exception of two comparisons, Trader Joe's was the superior brand, when it came to taste.Here's was our experience: