Colgate Beef Lasagna
In 1982, toothpaste company Colgate made an entry into the food business, but it did not turn out well. It probably had to do with the fact that the brand name has become associated with dental fluoride.
Customers were not enthusiastic about the beef lasagna, as they could not help but think that it tasted just like the Colgate toothpaste. This poor entry into the market also led to decreased sales of their toothpaste.
Chocolate Chip Pancake
This is one of the weirdest combinations in the history of pancakes. Jimmy Dean introduced this recipe in 2016. It contained sausage links wrapped in chocolate chips placed on a stick.
It is not surprising that consumers did not find these chocolate chip pancakes enjoyable. It is easy to understand why this recipe was stopped after a short while.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Samsung is a global brand, so it always makes the news whenever any of their products fail to impress. This was the case with Samsung Galaxy Note 7, their flagship phone for 2017.
There were several reports of overheating and exploding batteries which led the company to recall up to 2.5 million phones. The production of this phone was stopped after less than a year.
In trying to keep up with competition, Pepsi launched a new product called Pepsi Blue in 2002. Pepsi Blue was produced to compete with Vanilla Coke, but it failed on the market.
Despite heavy promotion, the taste of Pepsi was the main reason why it failed. Marketed as a berry cola fusion drink, consumers were of the opinion that it tasted like cotton candy with an aftertaste of berry.
Just like hoverboards, Google Glass was a product that many predicted would be around for a long time. Surprisingly, Google Glass failed to make a big mark on the market.
This was for a number of reasons, prominent among which was the fact that it did not have much value for users when its price was considered exceptionally high. It retailed for $1500 but did not provide value for money. There were also a lot of questions asked about privacy and safety.
Another case of brand venturing that failed, Bic launched a perfume in 1989. Everything about the branding of the product was great, from the packaging to the pocket-friendly price.
Consumers were however not impressed by the fragrance and Bic had to stop production after just one year. They recorded an estimated loss of $11 million.
Rejuvenique Face Mask
A toning facial mask, the Rejuvenique face mask was launched in 1999 but did not last long in the market. The function of the mask was to tighten facial muscles, but the method which it used was quite questionable.
The mask tightened face muscles using shock therapy. This turned out to be quite uncomfortable for users and even near nightmarish. It was not long before its production was stopped.
Heinz EZ Squirt Ketchup
In 2000, Heinz thought it would be a good idea to make their ketchup more kid-friendly. To achieve this, they added three new colors—purple, green, and teal.
It turned out that having green, purple, and teal ketchup on fries was not as appealing as Heinz thought it would be. The production of EZ Squirt colored ketchup was stopped in 2006 after six years.
Frito-Lay Wow! Chips
Frito-Lay started the production of Wow! in 1998. Wow! was a fat-free potato chip that helped consumers stay off fat while enjoying their potato chips. Unlike many products on the list, Wow! was successful early on, with Frito-Lay making up to $400 million in sales.
It was however discovered that Wow! contained a fat substitute known as Olestra. Olestra caused consumer stomach issues and abdominal cramps, and this saw Wow! lose popularity.
In 2011, technology giant Google established a social network platform called Google+. Like many social networks launched at that time, Google+ was set up to rival Facebook. This was however not the case, as Google+ did not live up to expectations.
There were a lot of controversies surrounding its usage as well. The minimal success of this platform led to a total redesign in 2015, four years after launching.
It says a lot about the unpredictability of business when big brands like Coca-Cola also experience product failure. Coca-Cola set up a plan to reformulate Coke in 1985, with the product New Coke. New Coke did very well in a nationwide taste test that cost the company $4 million.
It was, however, a different case after it was launched, as the feedback was largely negative. The company had to revert to the original formula, this time branding it as Coca-Cola Classic.
E.T The Extra-Terrestrial
In 1982, gaming company Atari secured the gaming rights for box office success E.T. The Extra-Terrestial. They spent about $20 million to secure these rights believing that the game would be a hit just like the movie.
This was not the case, as E.T. recorded one of the biggest commercial failures in the history of gaming. Atari produced 4 million cartridges, out of which 2.5 million ended up in a landfill.
Zune was a portable media player that was produced by Microsoft to rival Apple’s iPod. Zune, however, did not make a strong impression and production was eventually stopped. The reasons for the failure of Microsoft Zune include the lateness of its release.
Zune was released in 2006, five years after the iPod. It also did not have features that set it apart from iPod, and its marketing was quite poor as well.
Mars Need Moms
The only film on the list, Mars Need Moms is considered the biggest movie flop of 2011. The animated film shot in 3D cost $150 million for production with a further $50 million spent on marketing.
Disappointing is an understatement of its performance at the domestic box office, as the movie made only $6.9 million on its debut, a tiny percentage of the money spent.
Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino
Starbucks announced the unicorn frappuccino on their Instagram feeds to a lot of excitement, as it ticked all the boxes for aesthetics.
The looks and hype did not match the taste, as some described it as being too artificial. This left many Starbucks customers disappointed.
With satisfries, Burger King made an attempt to promote healthy eating, but it backfired. Launched in 2013 as an alternative to normal fries, satisfries contained fewer calories but also less fries.
Despite its obvious health benefits, customers were not quite impressed by the new french fries. Burger King eventually stopped satisfries and reverted to their normal recipe.
Cheetos Lip Balm
This idea is similar to the one behind the Colgate Beef Lasagna discussed above. The only difference is that in this case, the lip balm actually had the flavor of Cheetos, and was not just a figment of the imagination.
Consumers apparently did not need a Cheetos flavored lip balm, as this product did not do well on the market.
When hoverboards were released in 2015, many expected them to be popular for a long time. This was however not the case, as the hazards of this exciting toy turned out to be greater than its uses.
Hoverboard fires were a common occurrence as a result of exploding batteries (caused by prolonged charging or usage) and these electric skateboards were phased out in no time.
Windows Vista, the operating system released by Microsoft in 2007, was not quite a success as it was generally disliked by users. The reasons for the failure of Windows Vista include the questionable driver support, concerns over the security features, the time-consuming product activation, as well as the general performance of the software.
Too many, it is the worst operating system that Microsoft ever put out.
The only car manufactured by the Delorean Motor Company, Delorean Dmc-12 achieved fame but not commercial success. Produced in 1981, the car made an appearance in the movie Back to the Future as a time machine.
Despite being a trademark of the movie, the car did not do well on the market as it was affected by a lack of consumer interest, safety concerns, as well as performance issues. Production of the Delorean Dmc-12 was stopped in 1984 after the company went bankrupt.
Released in 2006 by Coca-Cola, Blak was a combination of cola and coffee. Blak was an attempt to combine the trademark taste of Coke with coffee in order to give early risers the much-needed caffeine boost. The taste of Blak, however, did not sit well with a lot of consumers.
It was hard to make out what it really tasted like, and the taste was poor at that. Caffeine also proved to be excess and the product was discontinued after a while.
In 1974, Gerber launched a product line which would have been tagged genius if it worked. A baby-food giant, Gerber ventured into the production of “baby-food” for adults.
Gerber Singles were ready-made food in a jar and came in different flavors including Blueberry Delight, Beef Burgundy, and Mediterranean Vegetables. It turned out adults would rather eat adult food and Gerber Singles failed on the market.
The year 2003 saw a lot of people playing games on their smartphones. In an attempt to improve the gaming experience, Nokia combined gaming and phones with the Nokia N-Gage. Nokia N-Gage was not the success they envisioned as it was released to poor reception.
The shape of the phone raised some questions, it was referred to as ‘taco phone’. Nokia N-Gage was a commercial failure as only 1.8 million of the 6 million phones produced were sold.
McDonald’s Arch Deluxe
A new recipe is not always the best way to win new customers, as McDonald’s found out in 1996. The Arch Deluxe was released to broaden the target demographic to include adults with mustard-mayonnaise sauce expected to do the trick.
This plan didn’t work out, however, even after $100 million was spent on an advertising campaign. The marketing campaign for this product is among the most expensive flops of all time.
Brewed Coffee In A Box
In 1990, Maxwell House brought pre-brewed coffee in a cardboard box to the market. Although this idea was a good one and could have started a cold coffee trend, Maxwell House did not take the opportunity.
Instead, they suggested that consumers heat up their coffee before consumption. This made the point of their product quite needless and they had to stop production after a while.
Before voice assistants like Alexa and Siri came to be, there existed an office assistant named Clippy. Developed by Microsoft in the 1990s, a great number of people think Clippy ranks highly among the worst user interfaces ever.
The main issue with Clippy was that it always managed to annoy users. It was programmed to pop up whenever it felt users needed help, but its leering eyes did not make too many users fond of it.
Vio, Coca Cola
In 2009, Coca Cola attempted to enter the dairy market with Vio. This drink came in very colorful bottles which made them quite attractive. With different exciting flavors including Very Berry, Peach Mango, Exotic, Citrus Burst, and Tropical Colada, Vio had all the markers of being a huge success.
The taste, however, was not appreciated by consumers, as a lot of people didn’t like the combination of flavored milk and carbonated water.
Known for their lifestyle magazine that held sway all through the 2000s, Cosmopolitan made a foray into the food business in 1999. Cosmopolitan Yogurt was popular within their demographics but failed to fully make a crossover to the major market.
As such, it failed on the market and production was stopped just after 18 months. Safe to say, the yogurt did not sell as much as the news.
Four Loko, the product of Drink Four Brewing Company, was released in 2005. Four Loko was an alcoholic beverage that contained caffeine. The problem with this drink was not the taste but with the effect on the health of consumers.
There were always legal, ethical, and health concerns and the FDA declared it a public health concern in 2011. Production was finally stopped in 2016.
A two-wheeler self-balancing transport, Segway FT was launched by Segway in 2001. Even though, it was predicted to record great success on the market, Segway FT turned out to be a failure.
This was partly because of its expensive price, as well as being largely unnecessary for consumers. Less than 10,000 units of Segway FT were sold in the first two years, a massive letdown on the 10,000 units per week predictions made by experts.
Another failed product from Microsoft, Microsoft Bob was a software launched in 1995. The idea behind this software was to create a software that was more user-friendly, and for this purpose the desktop screen had the picture of room.
This screen looked hideous and failed on the aesthetic front. Furthermore, it was not as user-friendly as intended to be and users found it to be an unworkable mess. It was scrapped in 1996.
In 1995, Apple launched a console called the Apple Pippin, which surprisingly was not a success. In fact, out of the 100,000 units produced, only 42,000 were sold. Pippin came at a time when names like PlayStation, Sega, and Nintendo reigned supreme in the gaming world.
It was, therefore, not possible for this console to disrupt the market. The fact that the console had web browsing and educational features did not help matters.
Nintendo Virtual Boy
Nintendo launched the Nintendo Virtual Boy in 1995, and it ended up being a failed product. Virtual Boy, according to Nintendo, was the first virtual reality console. This was not the truth, as the parallax effect was what was used to create an illusion of depth for players.
Virtual Boy was released to negative feedbacks, all of which were as a result of its high price, questionable 3D effect, monochrome display, as well as health concerns that were raised.
Athletic apparel retail company Lululemon did not quite hit the mark with Astro Pants. Customers found out after purchasing that the pants were see-through.
This did not sit well with a lot of customers and the repercussions for Lululemon were quite serious. There was a great decline in profits, they had to embark on recalls for the pants, and battled a lawsuit as well.
Everyone knows that milk and cereal go together as a perfect match. This was the idea Kellogg’s had when they produced Breakfast Mates. This product was released in 1998, with about $30 million spent on print and TV ads.
They found out that the simplest ideas don’t always yield the best results, as consumers did not find Breakfast Mates tasty or convenient.
Having been a gaming giant in the early days, Sega attempted a major comeback with Dreamcast after PlayStation had emerged as frontrunner. Dreamcast was however not good enough to usurp PlayStation 2, which was the in-thing at the time.
Poor marketing, cost disadvantages, poor game selection, and bad launch games were among the reasons why Sega Dreamcast was a failed product. Sega became a third-party developer after the failure of Dreamcast.
Legendary Harley Davidson Cologne
This is probably the weirdest brand extension on this list. Harley Davidson, the company that produces some of the best American bikes to date, went into the fragrance market with the Legendary Harley Davidson cologne, released in 1990.
It turned out to be a short-lived venture, as the reception was poor and the company decided to put a stop to their brand extension project.
Back in 1964, shoemaking company DuPont released Corfam shoes. Corfam shoes were quite different from other shoes on the market as they were made of synthetic leather.
DuPont marketed the shoes on the premise that synthetic leather was better than genuine leather. This gave the shoes a bit of traction, but after a while, there were a lot of complaints about the shoes. Users claimed that the shoes were too hot for feet, in addition to being too stiff.
Coors Rocky Mountain Spring Water
In a bid to add another non-alcoholic drink to their catalog, Coors Brewing Company launched Coors Rocky Mountain Spring Water in 1990. As a result of its similarity in the name and label this product shared with Coors Beer, a lot of customers were confused.
This led to low sales and Coors Brewing Company had to stop production of Coors Rocky Mountain Spring Water in 1997.
Nw-Hd1 Audio Player
The Nw-Hd1 Audio Player was a product of Sony. Launched in 2004, one major advantage it had was the portability, as it was the smallest audio player at that time.
Despite this clear advantage, it turned out to be a failed product as a result of its format compatibility. The player only supported Sony’s ATRAC3 format. Files that came in formats like WMA, WAV, and even MP3 could therefore not be played on this audio player.
In a bid to compete with the iPad, HP launched the HP Touchpad in 2011. The product failed on the market due to a number of reasons, which include poor marketing, deadly leaks, and poor choice of name.
It was, therefore, unable to live up to the expectation as the device to rival Apple’s iPad. HP Touchpad spent just 49 days on the market, with only 20,000 units of the device sold.
Bic for Her
For years and years, women have been writing with a man’s pen. They could never really understand why it felt so uncomfortable or why it was so hard to get work done despite all their practice writing. Luckily, in 2012, Bic released a product for women that they didn’t even know they needed — “lady pens.”
If you couldn’t tell by now, we’re being completely sarcastic. Bic for Her pens failed because the company made some pretty serious assumptions about the female population. They’re pointlessly gendered pens and have been unsurprisingly mocked since they first appeared on the shelves.
The first device to feature handwriting recognition, the Newton was a series of personal digital assistants (PDAs) developed by Apple. They started developing the platform in 1987 and released it six years later in 1993.
Although the device was considered technologically innovative upon its debut, it was discontinued just five years after its release due to a number of factors including problems with the handwriting recognition feature. It also didn’t help that Apple put such a high price tag on it.
CueCat Barcode Scanner
Developed by Digital Convergence Corporation, the CueCat was released during the late ’90s and needless to say, it was a massively expensive failure. It was supposed to serve as a bridge between the print media world and the internet. After plugging the device into a PC, consumers could scan specially marked bar codes to visit internet sites.
While it’s a nice concept, we’re not entirely sure how this is easier than typing a link into the browser. As you would expect, this product left everyone scratching their heads and it was discontinued after it was deemed useless.
In 1992, PepsiCo introduced a new product called “Crystal Pepsi” — a caffeine-free clear alternative to normal colas. Launched as a response to the growing concern for purity among consumers, Crystal Pepsi failed miserably for a number of reasons including taste.
PepsiCo may have claimed that their new beverage had the “Pepsi” taste but in reality, it wasn’t nearly as sweet. It actually tasted more like Sprite without the lime flavor. Crystal Pepsi inventor, David C. Novak, later admitted that “it would have been nice if I’d made sure the product tasted good.”
In 2006, a new social media platform called Eons was initially launched for users that were 50 years of age and older, although the age restriction was later lowered to 40 in 2008. While the platform — which was basically the MySpace for baby boomers — had an age restriction for a reason, it also prevented the site from being widely popularized.
Given that, it failed to attract people to sign up. With that being said, the site never experienced a huge boom. By 2011, it was acquired by an advertising agency that targets matured consumers.
There’s no denying that electric cars have grown in popularity over the years, which is why the EV1 was such a big hit with consumers and environmentalists upon its release. General Motors introduced the first mass-produced electric car in 1996. Six years after its release, though, GM recalled the model claiming liability and issues with spare parts.
Needless to say, this made quite a few people angry. Still, we think it’s safe to say that GM was ahead of the curve in designing the vehicle. As of 2020, the company is laying the foundation for an all-electric future…
Yet another failed PepsiCo product — Frito-Lay lemonade. It’s no secret that Frito-Lay is the leading brand of salty snacks in the United States. Now, what do people want to accompany a salty snack? A thirst-quenching drink, of course. Launched in 1998, this lemonade may have initially seemed like a logical brand extension but the soft-drink totally bombed.
As tasty as lemonade is, it wouldn’t have been able to quench the thirst that people had after eating the company’s salty snacks. In other words, from the consumer’s perspective, this sweet drink had very little connection to other Frito-Lay products.
It was 2008 and the virtual world known as “Second Life” was absolutely thriving! Of course, Google wanted to get in on the action and decided to create its very own version called “Lively.” Users were able to create avatars to interact in a three-dimensional virtual environment.
While it may have been a fairly solid idea, Lively was discontinued just a few months later in December of 2008 due to a number of reasons including server glitches and lags.
Hannah Montana Cherries
Disney is known for sticking a brand on just about anything and everything — from High School Musical cucumbers to Toy Story apples. After Hannah Montana became a booming success, it wasn’t very surprising to find that Disney had merchandised dozens of products.
Still, Hannah Montana cherries may have not been their brightest or most appropriate of ideas. The Washington Post suggested a Hannah Montana banana but Disney discarded this perfectly clever and catchy market idea in favor of cherries. Needless to say, people didn’t really hop on board with this one…
Hot Wheels & Barbie Computers
In the fall of 1999, Patriot Computer released two of the most poorly executed ideas — the Barbie computer “designed especially for girls” and the Hot Wheels computer “designed especially for boys.” They were sold for $699 and came bundled with various games and educational software, plus a plastic steering wheel peripheral.
Unfortunately, the computers came with so many manufacturing issues that it drove the company out of business, with thousands of unfilled orders. It wasn’t long before Patriot Computer filed for bankruptcy, leaving buyers with a $100 gift certificate from Mattel by way of apology.
In 1978, Phillips began selling the LaserDisc (abbreviated as ‘LD’) — a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium. Although the format was capable of offering higher-quality video and audio than its consumer rivals, LD never really gained widespread use in North America due to a number of factors including high costs for the players and the inability to record TV programs.
Contrastingly, the LD had much more success in Japan, as well as the more affluent regions of Southeast Asia. It was even the prevalent rental video medium in Hong Kong during the 1990s.
Back in the mid-’90s, Starbucks and PepsiCo partnered to make a lightly carbonated coffee-soda called Mazagran — a name inspired by a cold, sweetened drink that originated in Algeria — and it was a total flop.
While many customers were willing to give the drink a try because of the Starbucks brand name, Mazagran didn’t get the repeat business the corporation had hoped for. Still, it was the stepping stone on the way to what we now know as bottled Frappuccinos.
Oakley Thump Line
Introduced in 2004, Oakley Thump was launched as the first audio player built into sunglasses. While these MP3-player sunglasses are admittedly not terrible for what they are, what they are is sort of the issue here.
Unless you’re extremely sensitive to light both indoors and out, why would anyone want to spend over a few hundred dollars on a product like this? Aside from the fact that the audio itself is nothing to write home about, Oakley’s Thump line isn’t the most fashionable of products.
In 1970, Ford not only damaged their reputation but they also made one of their biggest financial mistakes by releasing the Pinto. Why? Well, a rear-end collision could cause the fuel filler to come loose and puncture the fuel tank, oftentimes ending in the car catching on fire.
Apparently, in testing, Ford crashed it more than 40 times at speeds of more than 25 miles per hour and the fuel tank ruptured every single time. It wasn’t long before Ford was served with around 177 lawsuits after putting the Pinto on the market.
Before Apple created the iPhone, they partnered up with Motorola to create a new iTunes phone…or they at least tried. What they came up with, though, was an underpowered cellular device with limited storage, lack of responsiveness, and problems uploading songs.
The Rokr E1 was released in 2005, far after Apple had already created the first iPod, a product that anyone and everyone had to get their hands on upon its release. With that being said, any phone that failed to perform just as perfectly and intuitively as an iPod would face severe disapproval.
In 1975, Sony released Betamax — an analog-recording and cassette format of magnetic tape for video. Advertised with the slogan that you can “watch whatever, whenever,” Betamax quickly became outdated as it lost the videotape format war to VHS.
Consumers preferred the latter format because VHS recording time was two hours, and it allowed most feature films to be recorded without a tape change. Despite this, Betamax recorders would only be discontinued in 2002 although new Betamax cassettes were available until March 2016, when Sony stopped making and selling them.
Thirsty Dog! & Thirsty Cat!
There’s no denying that pet owners want the best for their furry, little friends. With that being said, it’s not completely unlikely that consumers might serve bottled water to their cats and dogs. Well, that’s what the makers of Thirsty Cat! and Thirsty Dog! must have believed when they released this bottled “water” in 1994.
The beverage was carbonated, vitamin-enriched, and came in flavors such as “Crispy Beef” and “Tangy Fish.” Still, the product never seemed to catch on as consumers realized it’s pretty unnecessary to give their pets what could be considered soda.
Back in 2009, Vegemite — a popular Australian food spread — received 48,000 suggestions on what to name their new cheese-based spread. Out of all the ideas they received, they chose to go with the worst one.
iSnack 2.0 was widely ridiculed and even protested to the point that the company began rethinking their decision. iSnack 2.0 became the second most talked about topic on Twitter within 24 hours of its announcement. Given that, it’s safe to say that iSnack 2.0 was an epic fail.
In 2013, McDonald’s added a new recipe to its menu in a bid to win more customers. Referred to as “Mighty Wings,” the name of this recipe was befitting as it was quite large.
The taste and appearance were another case entirely, as customers made it clear that the taste was not the best and the appearance was not appetizing. The cost, which was on the high side, did not help matters, so it is not a surprise that Mighty Wings lasted only a year.
Eyetop Wearable DVD Player
DVD players were quite popular in 2004, and it was in this year that the Eyetop Wearable DVD player was launched. This wearable DVD player had a 320 × 240 pixel LCD screen fixed in the right eyepiece.
This LCD screen was to simulate a 14-inch screen whenever it was in use. Although a great innovation, this DVD player was a failed product as it caused motion sickness.
In a world where intellectual property and copyright are taken very seriously, a startup company Napster set up a service that infringed on these rights. Napster built a free music sharing platform that was used by over 80 million people at its peak.
Lawsuit after lawsuit for copyright infringement was filed against the company. Napster had to end its services after these lawsuits were filed.
In order to cater to the working class, Pepsi in 1989 introduced a new product known as Pepsi A.M. As a morning drink, Pepsi A.M. had more caffeine than the standard Pepsi in order to help consumers kickstart their days.
Though the idea was fantastic, the target demographic did not buy it as not many people were fond of the idea of drinking Pepsi in the morning. This resulted in low sales, and the production of Pepsi A.M was stopped in 1999, just a year after launching. The can stands out as one of the best Pepsi cans ever, though.
Ford Motor Company in 1957 produced a car called Edsel that failed to reach the heights set for it with the expectations. Ford Motor Company spent up to $400 million on developing, manufacturing, and marketing this car, with the belief that it would be a commercial success once unveiled.
This was not to be the case, as the reaction to this car was rather lukewarm, to say the least. Ford lost up to $250 million on this car, and the car was taken off the market in 1960, after three unsuccessful years.
One of the leading companies in technology and e-commerce, Amazon, made a foray into the smartphone market in 2014 with Fire Phone. However, it lasted only a year on the market.
The reasons for the failure of this phone were the high cost, limited features that largely favored only Amazon users, as well as its lateness to the market in a time when Samsung and Apple had firmly established themselves as leading smartphone companies.
One of the most used social network platforms today, Twitter has been around for a while. In 2009, Twitter launched a Twitter-only mobile device called Twitter Peek in attempts to make tweeting much easier.
The problem with this product was that it did not make tweeting easier, as it was capable of giving just a 20-character preview of tweets. This ensured that it was not well accepted by customers.
Released by Juicero in 2017, Juicero Press did not meet the expectations of customers. Juicero Press was a juicer that came with packets of prejuiced vegetables and fruits (exclusively from Juicero).
It did not take long for customers to discover that the Juicero Press was just as effective at juicing as human hands. This prompted Juicero to stop sales and they started buying back the juicer from customers.
Orbitz Soda was a case of good branding not matching the product quality. A product of Clearly Canadian Beverage Corporation, Orbitz Soda was launched in 1997 to initial acceptance by consumers. This was largely attributed to its eye-catching appearance, as it resembled a lava lamp.
The reviews on its taste were quite underwhelming, as a lot of people believed it tasted like cough syrup. The soda also contained gel balls which did not help the taste at all.
Are These Kirkland Products Just Big Brands in Disguise?
If you’re a fan of Costco, you probably already recognize the Kirkland brand. This is the Costco brand that has saved so many customers money with lower prices since there isn’t as much money spent on marketing efforts. However, that doesn’t mean that the quality goes down and you might be surprised to learn that Kirkland has a few big brands sitting behind it.
Kirkland Signature Coffee
Many people like to start their day with a nice cup of coffee but not everyone wants to pay for a pre-made cup every morning. That’s why Costco makes sure to offer their Kirkland Signature Coffee.
Yet, there’s more to this coffee than meets the eye. Namely, the Starbucks brand behind its production. That being said, this only refers to certain flavors of their Signature Coffee such as Decaf House Blend Medium Roast, Espresso Blend Dark Roast, and House Blend Medium Roast.
Signature Real Mayonnaise
While it can sometimes be a controversial sandwich addition, there are plenty of people happy to see affordable and tasty mayonnaise in the form of Kirkland Signature Real Mayonnaise.
If you’re a fan of mayo, you might notice that the blue branding on the mayonnaise seems familiar. It’s actually rumored to be made by a larger brand that uses similar packaging: Hellmann’s. However, when asked about the familiarity, a Costco representative stated that it was actually E.D. Smith that was the vendor.
Kirkland Signature Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
If you love cheese, the wide selection of cheeses available at Costco is pretty exciting. Among their many options, they offer their own Kirkland Signature Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese.
A lot – but not all – of the cheeses that Costco offers are actually outsourced from Italy to offer genuine and high quality. The Signature Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese is even aged for more than 24 months. If you look at the back of the package, you’ll notice this cheese is actually offered by Formaggi Zanetti.
Signature by Bolthouse Farms
This is an example where the hidden brand isn’t very hidden but you might not notice it if you aren’t paying close attention to the label.
As the name says, Kirkland Signature by Bolthouse Farms 100% Carrot Juice is made by Bolthouse Farms who make their own vegetable and fruit juice as well. The good news is that they offer this one at a Costco-sized deal and, on top of that, it’s organic to boot!
Kirkland Signature Moisture Haircare
Shampoo and conditioner are necessities with a lot of options. There are different options for different hair textures, types, and even ingredient preferences and needs.
When you shop at Costco, one option you have is the Signature Moisture Haircare set. This is actually, according to rumors at least, a line of hair products made by Pureology which is a reliable brand with salon-quality products. While it isn’t confirmed, Kirkland gets a lot of praise for their haircare products anyways.
Signature Organic Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is more than just tasty. It’s a healthy choice for a snack as well and it can even be used in recipes to substitute more unhealthy components to make a healthy change.
Costco sells their own Greek yogurt under the name Kirkland Signature Organic Greek Yogurt. This Greek yogurt actually comes from the larger and more recognizable German company Ehrmann. While based in Germany, the company actually has a few plants in the United States, helping to reduce the price nearby.
Kirkland Signature Isigny French Brie
As we mentioned before, the cheese collection at Costco is sure to impress any fan. Another entry in their list of options is their Kirkland Isigny French Brie.
Just like the cheese before, the Signature Isigny French Brie actually has a huge label behind it. This time, the cheese comes from a company based in Normandy called Isigny Ste-Mère. They offer it with the usual high quality of French cheese at a competitive price for Costco.
Signature Organic Tortilla Chips
Tortilla chips are a versatile snack that is particularly excellent if you want to use them as a vehicle for salsa or dip. Costco offers its own Kirkland Signature Organic Tortilla Chips.
The history of Costco’s brand partnership with these tortilla chips is slightly more complicated than other entries on this list. A few years ago, the Signature Organic Tortilla Chips were produced by Mission Foods and it even had the logo on the package. Now, that logo is gone and the brand deal isn’t as clear.
Kirkland Signature K-Cups
One of the quickest ways to make a cup of coffee is to load up a Keurig since they can make single cups of coffee in a fairly short amount of time.
Unfortunately, buying Keurig K-Cups all the time can get pricey. That’s why Costco decided to release their line of Kirkland Signature K-Cups. To cut down on costs and ensure that it didn’t mean a quality reduction for customers, Costco decided to enter a partnership with Keurig Green Mountain for this.
Signature Purified Bottled Water
One of the simplest things that you can pick up at a grocery store is a case of bottled water. If you’re at Costco, you might even buy the Kirkland Signature Purified Bottled Water.
This actually comes from the Niagara Bottling company. This company is behind several familiar water brands including the brands belonging to other big box chains like Safeway or Walmart. In other words, it’s definitely a reliable choice when you’re looking for purified drinking water.
Kirkland Signature Tuna
Canned tuna is a classic and easy go-to to keep in your pantry. It’s often used as a quick lunch, snack, or even incorporated into a larger meal.
At Costco, you can buy the Kirkland Signature Tuna to satisfy your cravings. Plus, in a confirmed rumor this time, Bumble Bee Tuna is the manufacturer of this Costco product. This information came from a reliable source: Tim Rose who oversees the Costco food division. He also shared that the tuna underwent a year of testing before release.
Signature Wild Alaskan Fish Oil
Fish oils are often highly touted for their health benefits including helping with overall heart health, weight loss, skin health, and a reduction of inflammation.
No matter what you take fish oil for, you probably need an affordable source. This includes Kirkland Signature Wild Alaskan Fish Oil at Costco. The product is actually brought to Costco by Trident Seafoods which serves as the largest seafood company in the United States. They also have their own brand: Pure Alaska Omega.
Kirkland Signature Premium Sliced Bacon
For people who eat meat, there’s nothing that quite lives up to the iconic title of a breakfast side as bacon. Not to mention, it’s worked into plenty of other dishes throughout the day as well.
You can pick some bacon up on a trip to Costco with the Costco brand option of Kirkland Signature Premium Sliced Bacon. Yet, just as consumers can be careful about where their bacon comes from, Costco was too. That’s why they partnered up with the big brand Hormel.
Everybody needs a place to rest. Yet, this can prove to be quite a search in the end. After all, you have to find something comfortable, supportive, and within your budget.
This could lead you to Costco to pick up a Kirkland Signature Mattress. You can rely on these mattresses not only for their range of sizes but their blended use of memory foam and gel foam to offer just the right comfort and support. All of this is brought to Costco by Stearns & Foster.
Kirkland Signature Aged Balsamic Vinegar
There are certain items that you expect to pay a high price to get a high quality that you can depend on. This might include an item like olive oil or, in this case, balsamic vinegar.
The Kirkland Signature Aged Balsamic Vinegar is actually produced by a brand that you might recognize as a gourmet option. According to a Costco buyer named Leanne Bender, the company chose to partner with Acetum due to its dedication to authenticity and heritage.
Signature Raw Unfiltered Honey
Finding honey you can trust and that you like might mean trying different brands out. If you’re looking at Kirkland Signature Raw Unfiltered Honey, you may have already tried its parent brand.
At the very least, you might have tried some of them. In 2019, Costco corporate food and sundries buyer, Lucas Stanuch, said that Costco tries to provide local honey but not every state has enough beekeepers for it. This means the honey comes from a variety of sources including Rice’s Honey.
Kirkland Signature Nature’s Three Berry Blend
Frozen fruit blends are great to have around if you like the occasional smoothie. Costco shoppers probably recognize the Kirkland Signature Nature’s Three Berry Blend option.
The sad news is that we found out who manufactures these products in an alarming way. In 2019, the FDA ordered a recall of all Townsend Farms frozen blackberry products due to potential contamination issues. Shortly after, Costco pulled their Signature Nature’s Three Berry Blend from shelves.
Signature Milk Chocolate
We all have a sweet tooth from time to time which means that everyone wants a sweet treat. If that’s the case, Costco comes through with the Kirkland Signature Milk Chocolate.
This Signature product is made by Blommer which, even if you don’t recognize the name, you’ve probably had their chocolate. According to the Blommer website, they’re among the biggest distributors of chocolate in North America. Plus, you can even enjoy this Kirkland-brand chocolate in several forms!
Signature Ultra-Clean Laundry Detergent
Keeping your laundry clean and fresh is essential but buying new detergent all the time can get pricey. So, Costco makes sure to provide an affordable option in the form of Kirkland Signature Ultra-Clean Laundry Detergent.
Interestingly, this is another product that has rumors that another big brand is hiding behind the label. In this case, consumers suspect that the makers of the Persil Laundry Detergent are actually the makers of the Costco Ultra-Clean Laundry Detergent.
Kirkland Signature Organic Blueberries
We’ve already covered that Costco’s Kirkland Signature Nature’s Three Berry Blend is made by an outside company, Townsend Farms but they don’t supply all of the stores’ berries.
For instance, if you were to pick up a back of Kirkland Signature Organic Blueberries while you’re out at Costco, Townsend Farms isn’t the company to thank. Rather, the praise goes to Scenic Fruit Company which is one of the leading brands in fruits – both fresh and frozen – as well as the harvester for this Costco product.
Aluminum foil is a must-have in any home. It can be used to wrap up some leftovers for later or even use it in the process of cooking certain dishes.
Costco offers an aluminum foil option under the Kirkland brand simply branded as their Signature Foil. A little extra reading on the box quickly reveals that this is another Costco product linked to a popular big brand. The labeling reveals that the foil is actually made by Reynolds.
Kirkland Signature Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice
This one is a little more obvious than the others that we’ve looked at so far. After all, the big brand behind this product is right there in the name.
The Kirkland Signature Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice is, unsurprisingly, made by Ocean Spray. This is a big brand that you may see on store shelves selling products like cranberry juice or snacks available in stores all around the globe as well as the deals they offer at Costco.
Signature Raw Tail-On Shrimp
Seafood is a crowd-pleaser but it isn’t always easy on your wallet. This is a problem that Costco set out to solve by releasing its own line of seafood products.
One such product is their Kirkland Signature Raw Tail-On Shrimp. This is an example of a product that’s supplied by a big brand with plenty of business ties. The company that provides Costco with this product, Kader Exports, also supplies the shrimp for other familiar brands like Fresh Market, Tops, Censea, Unistar, Wellsley Farms, and Aqua Star Reserve.
Kirkland Signature Pet Food
Everyone wants to give their pets the best in everything. This could mean food, toys, healthcare, and more. That’s why Costco offers its Kirkland Signature Pet Food.
However, shoppers new to Costco might recognize this product better by the brand of its producer. The Signature Pet Food is made by Diamond Pet Foods, Inc. This is actually another company that produces other brands as well like Solid Gold, Taste of the Wild, Premium Edge, and Artemis.
Signature Super Premium Ice Cream
There’s nothing quite as classic as a scoop of ice cream as a sweet snack or for a summer dessert. Costco shoppers can get their fix with the Kirkland Signature Super Premium Ice Cream.
Specifically, the Kirkland Signature Super Premium Ice Cream has a big brand hiding behind its label. Costco paired up with Humboldt Creamery to bring you this ice cream. The website for Humboldt Creamery states that the company believes in high-quality dairy prices sans luxury prices, so it makes sense!
Kirkland Signature ProCare Formula
If there’s one thing that parents need access to, it’s an affordable formula for their children. Costco offers this in the form of its Kirkland Signature ProCare Formula.
Like other products on this list, there’s a big brand behind this but, in its whole history, there have been two big brands behind it! The Signature ProCare Formula started out under the Similac company but later transferred to Perrigo for production. Either way, the production offers high quality that shoppers can depend on.
Baby care at Costco doesn’t start and stop with formula, though. On the other hand, they offer plenty of supplies for new parents.
This includes diapers under the name Kirkland Signature Diapers. While these were already loved by parents, it could help to hear a rumor among Costco buyers. Although it hasn’t been confirmed or denied, some customers think that Kimberly Clark, producer of Huggies, might be behind these diapers, once again linking this brand to a larger, more recognizable one.
Kirkland Signature La Mancha Spanish Saffron
Any good cook knows that they need to keep their kitchen stocked with the right spices. That’s why it was so exciting when Costco announced that they would begin selling saffron in 2008.
Even better, as is so important, this saffron was meant to offer the deals that Costco is so familiar with but without the big brand price. What it does have, though, is a big brand backing. La Mancha also creates their own La Mancha Prime Saffron on top of this wholesale option.
Signature Chinet Plastic Red Cups
If you’re throwing a party or having a cookout, oftentimes the last thing you want to do is worry about a sink full of dishes afterward. That’s why disposable plates, cups, and silverware are often the way to go.
When you’re shopping at Costco, this means picking up a pack of Kirkland Signature Chinet Plastic Red Cups. As you might have noticed, this isn’t exactly a well-disguised big brand behind this name. Chinet is actually the producer behind these cups!
Kirkland Signature Batteries
Anymore, almost everything runs on electricity. This means that if something isn’t directly plugged into the wall, it’s likely that the device needs batteries. Why not opt for Kirkland Signature Batteries?
The CEO of Costco, Craig Jelinek, actually revealed a pretty good reason once. It was a tip he mentioned to Clark Howard, WSB-TV’s consumer advisor. According to him, the Signature Batteries might just have the titan of a brand Duracell behind them just without the advertising associated with them.
Whether you’re looking for an easy dinner or trying to satisfy a craving, there’s nothing quite better than an affordable pizza. At Costco, this comes in the form of Kirkland Signature Pizza.
This pizza comes from a trustworthy partnership that Costco has cultivated as well. Since 2012, Costco has partnered with Palermo to bring consumers high-quality frozen pizzas that they can rely on. As a matter of fact, Palermo says that Costco is their biggest customer.
Kirkland Signature Japanese Green Tea
There’s no better way to relax than with a refreshing cup of tea. Even further adding to its advantages, there are plenty of health benefits linked with green tea as well.
Costco made sure to make these advantages available to their customers through their Kirkland Signature Japanese Green Tea. This tea is actually brought to consumers through a partnership with Ito-En. Ito-En is a Japanese company and serves as one of the largest tea manufacturers in the entire world.
Kirkland Signature Milk Chocolate Almonds
As mentioned, there are plenty of chocolate products available when you’re shopping around Costco. So, why not take a look at some of these tasty treats?
While milk chocolate on its own is delicious, you can add layers by putting that same chocolate with another food that complements it. For a sweet and nutty treat, you can pick up some Kirkland Signature Chocolate Almonds at Costco. The chocolate for this snack is also provided by Blommer Chocolate.
Signature Jelly Belly Candy
While on the topic of candy, the Kirkland Signature Milk Chocolate isn’t the only option Costco has when it comes to satisfying a sweet tooth.
Alternatively, you can also rely on the Signature Jelly Belly Candy if you want a fruitier sweet treat. These jelly beans actually go beyond having a similar logo to Jelly Belly, though. They’re made by the Jelly Belly company as well! With 49 available flavors, there’s plenty to enjoy.
Kirkland Signature Digital Hearing Instruments
While Costco is well-known for its grocery products, its non-grocery products are worthwhile too as we’ve already seen. They even have health products that will help you in your daily life.
One of the useful items they sell is the Kirkland Signature Digital Hearing Instrument. These hearing aids are based in a more well-known and recognizable company. In fact, these hearing aids are manufactured by the same company behind brand names like Phonak, Hansaton, and Unitron hearing aids. This is advertised on Costco’s website and in-store.
Signature Contact Lenses
On the topic of health products, there’s more to see than just the Kirkland Signature Digital Hearing Instruments. There are also products at Costco that can help keep your visual health in check.
If you wear contacts, you might want to try out the Kirkland Signature Contact Lenses which are single-day disposable lenses that you can wear when you need and match up to your personal prescription. These contact lenses are actually identical to the ones sold by their parent brand, CooperVision.
Kirkland Signature Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution
If you need contact lenses, that isn’t the only thing you need. Especially when it comes to non-disposable contact lenses, you’ll need a bottle of contact solution around to keep everything in working order.
Costco sells this under the name Kirkland Signature Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution. They advertise that this will offer up to 16 hours or more of moisture and it’s enough to last you a while. What you might not know is that this is actually the same ingredient list that BioTru uses.
Signature Full Synthetic SAE 54-30
Another non-grocery item you can invest in at Costco may not help your health directly but it’ll definitely help keep your car in working condition.
Costco offers motor oil in the form of their Kirkland Signature Full Synthetic SAE 54-30. If you turn the bottle of motor oil around, though, you’ll see which big brand in disguise is the manufacturer behind it: Warren Oil. Warren Oil actually produces a couple of types of off-brand oil including the AmazonBasics motor oil.
Kirkland Signature Golf Balls
When Costco released their own golf balls under their brand as Kirkland Signature Golf Balls, golf players and fans alike were excited.
Back when they were released, after which they quickly sold out, they were frequently compared to the Pro V1 Golf Balls that Titleist sells. They weren’t the brand behind them but rather that honor went to SM Global LLC, a United States subsidiary of a more well-known brand, Nassau Golf Company.
Signature Maple Syrup
Who doesn’t love a dollop of maple syrup over their pancakes during those trips to your local breakfast diner? After those delightful brunches with your loved ones, don’t you wish you could have your own maple syrup at your disposal? Thankfully, Kirkland provides their own, and in bulk.
Unlike many other maple syrups, which aren’t exactly genuine due to all of the corn syrup and artificial maple flavoring they receive, Kirkland’s edition is the real deal. Moreover, it is usually half the price of standard grocery store bottles!
Introducing a new product into the market has proven time and time again to be one of the most difficult aspects of business. It is either consumers are not prepared for such products or they simply do not want them. Most new companies and business giants have experienced product failure at one point or another. In this article, we will look at 50 failed products that companies regret making. Some of these products are downright hilarious while others were totally unnecessary.