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Costco Shoppers Are Abandoning These Kirkland Products: "Gone Downhill"

Customers claim that many of the items they're buying are not as good as they once were.

There are plenty of grocery stores you can walk right into, but those who shop at Costco are willing to pay a membership fee just to visit the wholesale retailer. It's not surprising, then, that these shoppers expect to be getting premium products, and they're not afraid to speak up when they feel that isn't the case. Recently, many Costco customers have taken to social media to share their disappointment over products from store brand Kirkland. Read on to find out which items Costco shoppers swear have "gone downhill."

RELATED: Shoppers Are Ditching Costco for Sam's Club Over New Membership Rules.


bacon on display
Nataliya Arzamasova/Shutterstock

The most recent complaint from Costco shoppers has to do with the store's bacon.

In a Feb. 20 Reddit post, one customer shared that they feel the "quality of the bacon has changed for the worst" over the last month. They said the bacon now has a "gamey flavor," adding that they even returned one pack because it tasted "so off."

And they were hardly alone in how they felt. Throughout the comment section of the Reddit post, many other users shared similar disappointment with Kirkland bacon. "I no longer buy it," one person replied.

Another responded, "The last bacon I got about a month ago was stringy and awful."

RELATED: Costco Rolling Out Controversial New Shopping Carts: "I Loathe These."


butter on plate
Dream79 / Shutterstock

It's not just the bacon either. As one commenter noted in the Reddit thread, many believe "this has happened to a lot of Kirkland stuff and produce."

At the end of last year, it was Kirkland butter that had Costco shoppers up in arms. In a Nov. 26 Reddit post, one user explained that they and their mother had been "Costco 'blue box' salted butter loyalists" until they tried to use the butter for their Thanksgiving pie crust, and found that it did not hold up.

"Something changed with their butter," they wrote. "Did anyone else have issues over the holidays with the butter? I'm hesitant to bake with it for any recipe now."

Others chimed in saying they had the same problem, with some claiming it was due to "a change in the water content" of the butter.

"They definitely changed the Costco butter formula sometime between October and December 2023. You can visually see the difference," one person replied. "The butter made using the new formula doesn't melt as fast in the frying pan. It's pale yellow now."

RELATED: Costco Shoppers "Have a Bad Feeling" About Kroger Exec Taking Over.


Boxes of Costco's branded Kirkland vodka
ZikG / Shutterstock

Last year, there was also a major public outcry over Costco's Kirkland Signature American Vodka. Over the summer, shoppers took to Reddit to discuss issues with the company's alcohol.

"Went the past two times to buy the Kirkland brand of Vodka, both times it tasted terrible," one person wrote in an Aug. 2023 Reddit post.

A month earlier, another Reddit post shared similar problems with the vodka, with one commenter claiming that it "tasted like lighter fluid."

In the end, Costco ended up offering refunds to shoppers who bought certain batches of Kirkland Signature American Vodka after the complaints, Nexstar reported.

"It has come to our attention that the taste profile of units marked with certain lot codes may not have met the expected profile normally consistent with this product," Costco said in a statement to Nexstar. "While not a food safety issue, this does not meet our quality expectations."

Other complaints

handing out free samples at costco
The Image Party / Shutterstock

The criticism against Kirkland-branded products is not limited to these products—and it's also not new.

Back in Jan. 2023, a Costco shopper took to Reddit to ask if others had noticed a recent decline in the quality of some of the items sold under the store's private label. They said they had experienced new problems with several Kirkland products, including the brand's popcorn, disposable wipes, chicken noodle soup, and nuts.

"Last month bought a large box of Kirkland popcorn. It doesn't pop right," they wrote. "I've been buying this for years, and always two minutes flat for perfect bag. I've tried every temp/time setting, and the popcorn always comes out burnt or oily with tons of kernels. Bought a second box and same issues. This seems like big quality control failure."

In the comment section, more Costco shoppers spoke out about the decline they'd noticed in other Kirkland products, including juices, detergents, fruits, veggies, chicken breasts, salsas, toilet paper, and diapers.

"Costco started going downhill as soon as COVID hit," one shopper wrote in the Reddit thread. "I'm letting my membership lapse or downgrading to basic."

Best Life reached out to Costco about these customer complaints, and we will update this story with its response.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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