This Is What Costco’s Kirkland Line Was Almost Called

Hint: It was almost named after a major city.

kirkland costcoPaul Sakuma/AP/Shutterstock

It’s hard to imagine Costco without the Kirkland Signature brand. But the Costco in-house label almost went by a different name, according to the Kirkland Reporter.

Initially, the Costco team and founder Jim Sinegal wanted to call the brand “Seattle Signature.” The Washington-based company wanted to honor its then-headquarters in the Emerald City. They were unable to clear that name, so they opted for “Kirkland Signature” in honor of their flagship warehouse in Kirkland, Washington, per the Kirkland Reporter. Both of those names are much more subdued than the original plan for naming Starbucks.

The name put the town of Kirkland on the map, but the idea for the private label itself actually came from outside of the United States. On a visit to the United Kingdom, Sinegal saw that private food labels dominated 50 percent of the food business, according to the Kirkland Reporter. This lead to the big-picture idea for Costco’s all-in-one house label.

The idea was definitely a hit with Kirkland items receiving rave reviews from consumers today. The positive feedback is likely because Kirkland items are typically made in the same warehouses and facilities as their brand-name alternatives. One example is Kirkland wine, which Wine Spectator reports come from carefully selected brand-named wineries. Ultimately, the difference between Kirkland items and brand-name ones comes down to price, not quality, which means you should definitely add these 10 Kirkland items you should always buy to your Costco shopping list.

Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is a former staff writer at Reader’s Digest. There’s a 90% chance Emily is drinking tea right now, but when she’s not writing about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts and liking one too many astrology memes.