Similar to the ocean, space is an incredible place that remains a mystery to humankind. Few celestial objects have fascinated people throughout the years more than the Red Planet, and for over a century, we have yearned to learn more about this mindboggling star. With creatures inhabiting its rusty plains, tantalizing prospects have been raised, including the idea of humankind being able to one day survive on the planet.
Kirby Runyon is a researcher at the John Hopkin’s University Applied Physics Laboratory and has recently shared some valuable information about the planet that your kids might live on one day. Here they are…
A Martian Year Lasts Just Under Two Earth Years
Astronomists have found that it takes 687 Earth days for Mars to make a complete ride around the sun. A Mars day, called a “sol,” lasts 24.6 hours.
Mars Is Not As Hot As It Looks
Although Mars may resemble a hot New Mexico desert, it’s actually much cooler than it appears. With the hottest sol measuring at 70℉, on its colder days, the Red Planet can reach -225℉. Aside from the chilly weather, the dust storms that visit Mars can be dramatic. 2018 saw a huge sandstorm that spanned over a whole month!
Mars Is Significantly Smaller Than Earth
Mars compared to earth is a tiny styrofoam ball, with a diameter of just over half of ours and one-tenth of our mass. For future colonists, the odds of survival are questionable, as its gravity comprises 0.38% of their native planet, meaning a person who weighs 100 pounds would way only 38 pounds on Mars.
The Atmosphere is Made Mostly Of Carbon Dioxide
If you’re looking for a fresh breath of air, Mars isn’t the place to go. That is, unless you’re trying to suffocate. With 95.32% of the planet’s atmosphere being carbon dioxide, breathing here is difficult. If you do try to take in a small inhale, you’ll find the tears in your eyes, saliva in your mouth, and water in your lungs slowly start to evaporate.
It Is A Two-Moon Planet
Unlike Planet Earth, Mars has a spare moon to keep the other company. The moons are called Phobos and Deimos and are shaped like potatoes. Phobos is about one third the size of earth’s moon, while Deimos looks like a bright star.
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!