Who makes all those store brands? You might be surprised.

A shopping cart filled with store brands can deliver quality and savings - ConsumerAffairs

The savings make them worthwhile – in some cases, more than 50% off

You’ve probably walked through the aisles of Aldi, Costco, and other major grocery stores, picked up a box of one of their “store brand” items and asked yourself who really made this. And is it essentially the same thing as the proverbial higher-priced spread?

Turns out that those generics are more often than not nothing more than masked – and less expensive – versions of well-known products by well-known manufacturers like Buffalo Trace, Duracell, and Libby’s.

Rather-Be-Shopping’s Kyle James’ curiosity got the better of him and he decided to go store to store and investigate the origin of generics and, if accurate, what he found could save us all a bunch of money.

Here are several dozen actual name brand companies behind these store brands “generics” that James found:

Kirkland Signature (Costco)

– Kirkland Dog Food: Made by Diamond Pet Foods, the same company that makes Taste of the Wild, Diamond Naturals, and Nutra-Gold.

– Kirkland Signature Vodka: For years, people have thought that Costco’s vodka was actually Grey Goose in disguise, but James found out differently – that it’s produced instead by Gayant Distillery of France, a company that makes other rums and whiskeys, too.

– Kirkland Signature Batteries: Manufactured by Duracell.

– Kirkland Signature Craft Beer: Made by Gordon Biersch.

– Kirkland Signature Premium Small Batch Bourbon: This is made by Buffalo Trace, the same distiller behind Pappy, Weller, and Blanton’s.

– Kirkland Scotch: Made by Macallan 18, just half the price.

– Kirkland Tuna: “Turns out it’s made by none other than Bumblebee Tuna,” James said.

– Kirkland Diapers: Kimberly-Clark, the same company that makes all Huggies products, is the brand behind these diapers as well.

“Take a look at the ‘Factory Code’ on a box of Huggies and a box of Kirkland diapers, they’re identical,” James noted. “By trying to match these numbers, you can often play detective and figure out where Kirkland products are manufactured.”

– Kirkland Laundry Detergent: It’s made by a company called Henkel which makes the higher-end brands All and Persil.

– Kirkland Canned Chicken Breast: There’s been a bit of a switcheroo here, James said. This product was originally made by Bumble Bee, but is now made by Costco in their Fremont, Nebraska chicken facility.

– Kirkland Signature Golf Balls: Made by Nassau Golf, a leading sports equipment manufacturer, which was bought by TaylorMade back in 2021.

Great Value (Walmart)

– Great Value Canned Vegetables: Sourced from various suppliers including Del Monte, Green Giant, and Libby’s.

– Great Value Bottled Water: Sourced from multiple bottling companies, including Niagara Bottling.

365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods Market)

– 365 Everyday Value Pasta Sauces: Produced by multiple suppliers, including Victoria Fine Foods and Silver Palate.

– 365 Everyday Value Snacks: Sourced from various health food companies, including Late July and Nature’s Path.


– Millville Cinnamon Crunch Squares: Made by General Mills who also makes Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

– Tuscan Garden Restaurant-Style Italian Dressing: Rumor has it that it’s made by the same manufacturer as the Olive Garden Signature Italian Dressing.

Private Selection (Kroger)

– Kroger Brand Cereal: Manufactured by General Mills and Kellogg’s.

– Kroger Brand Laundry Detergent: Produced by Sun Products Corporation and Church & Dwight.

Meijer Brand (Meijer)

– Meijer Brand Bread: Made by Bimbo Bakeries USA and Sara Lee.

– Meijer Brand Frozen Meals: Produced by Conagra Brands and Nestlé.

Trader Joe’s

– Trader Joe’s Gourmet Cheeses: Made by various cheese producers, some undisclosed.

– Trader Joe’s Frozen Meals: Produced by multiple manufacturers, including Amy’s Kitchen and Conagra Brands.

– Trader Joe’s Pita Chips: These popular chips are made by the leading brand Stacy’s and repacked for TJs and sold at a discount.

– Trader Joe’s Pistachios: These are made by the Wonderful Pistachios company.

– Trader Joe’s Smoothies: These are made by the juice manufacturer Naked.

Member’s Mark (Sam’s Club)

– Member’s Mark Bacon: This is sort of a catch-as-catch-can because it’s manufactured by multiple suppliers, including Smithfield Foods. In other words, you’re on your own here.

– Member’s Mark Paper Towels: Produced by various paper product companies, including Georgia-Pacific.

Publix Brand (Publix)

– Publix Brand Deli Meats: Made by various meat suppliers, including Boar’s Head and Hormel.

– Publix Brand Frozen Vegetables: Sourced from various frozen food manufacturers including Green Giant.

Signature Kitchens (Safeway)

– Signature Kitchens Bread: Made by various bakeries, including Bimbo Bakeries USA and Flowers Foods.

– O Organics Baby Formula: Produced by Perrigo Nutritionals.

– O Organics Olive Oil: Sourced from Pompeian and California Olive Ranch.

– Signature Select Ice Cream: Another “it’s anybody’s guess” item because it’s produced by various ice cream manufacturers, including Dean Foods and Wells Enterprises.

– Signature Select Pasta: Manufactured by Barilla.

Market Pantry (Target)

– Market Pantry Cereal: Sourced from various cereal companies, including General Mills and Kellogg’s.

– Market Pantry Peanut Butter: Manufactured by Algood Food Company.

– Market Pantry Frozen Vegetables: Produced by Simplot and Pictsweet.

– Good & Gather Almond Milk: Produced by Blue Diamond Growers.

– Good & Gather Frozen Fruit: Sourced from Wawona Frozen Foods.

– Archer Farms Coffee: Roasted by multiple coffee companies, including Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group.

– Archer Farms Nuts: Sourced from various nut suppliers, including Diamond Foods.

– Up & Up Over-the-Counter Medications: Manufactured by Perrigo Company, a major pharmaceutical company.

– Up & Up Cleaning Supplies: Produced by various manufacturers, including Stepan Company and P&G.

– Simply Balanced Organic Pasta: Sourced from Dakota Growers Pasta Company.

– Simply Balanced Organic Granola Bars: Made by Annie’s Homegrown.

Signature Farms (Albertsons)

– Signature SELECT Sodas: Manufactured by Cott Beverages.

– Signature SELECT Frozen Pizza: Produced by Nestlé and Schwan’s Company.

Nature’s Promise (Giant Food)

– Nature’s Promise Organic Yogurt: Made by Stonyfield Organic.

– Nature’s Promise Organic Pasta: Sourced from Riviana Foods.

Food Lion Brand (Food Lion)

– Food Lion Brand Coffee: Manufactured by Kraft Heinz and J.M. Smucker Company.

– Food Lion Brand Ice Cream: Produced by Wells Enterprises and Blue Bell Creameries.

The savings worth considering

“Many shoppers are often skeptical about the quality of store brands, which are typically priced lower than their name-brand counterparts,” James said. “However, significant savings can be realized without sacrificing quality." 

How much can you save by buying store brands? Typically from 15% to 30% over name brand versions – all because the store isn’t paying for the marketing and advertising that a name brand has to spend. 

“CVS Health ibuprofen sells for $7 for a bottle of 100 tablets, while Advil sells its version for $9.49," James said. "Choosing CVS’s brand saves 26%. At Walgreens, their store brand shampoo costs $3.99 for a 12.5 oz bottle, while Pantene Pro-V shampoo of the same size is priced at $4.79, making the store brand 17% cheaper.”

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