In the world of supermarket giants, Costco stands out as a true retail powerhouse. While renowned for its vast selection of products, from electronics to clothing, one humble item consistently captures the attention of savvy shoppers: Costco butter.
Whether you’re an avid baker looking for premium ingredients or a budget-conscious consumer seeking high-quality staples, Costco’s butter offerings have earned a special place on grocery lists nationwide.
In this article, we’ll delve into the creamy world of Costco butter, exploring its quality, versatility, and the value it brings to your kitchen. Prepare to be butterly amazed!
Which Butter Does Costco Sell?
The warehouse has several butter options, whether you want salted or unsalted, organic or grass-fed.
Costco sells six types of butter in the refrigerated section.
- Kirkland Signature Unsalted Butter
- Kirkland Signature Salted Butter
- Kirkland Signature Grass-Fed Butter
- Kirkland Signature Organic Salted Butter
- Kerrygold Salted Butter
- Kerrygold Unsalted Butter
Costco butter prices range from $9.99 to $14.49, and packages are two to four pounds.
Costco Butter Prices 2023
|Type||Price||Size||Price Per Pound|
|Kirkland Signature Unsalted Butter||$12.49||4lbs.||$3.12|
|Kirkland Signature Salted Butter||$12.49||4lbs.||$3.12|
|Kirkland Signature Organic Salted Butter||$11.49||2lbs.||$5.75|
|Kirkland Signature Grass Fed Butter||$9.99||2lbs.||$4.99|
|Kerry Gold Salted Butter||$14.49||2lbs.||$7.25|
|Kerry Gold Unsalted Butter||$14.49||2lbs.||$7.25|
These are excellent prices compared to the grocery store. A standard pound of store-brand butter costs over $4. That means it costs $16 for four pounds. The Costco price is 25% cheaper than grocery stores.
There is an exception. Online prices for delivery via Instacart for salted and unsalted butter are much higher. Four pounds of salted or unsalted butter costs $14.61 plus fees, which isn’t a significant savings over the local grocer.
Costco Butter Ingredients
Standard butter includes high-fat milk (cream) and salt. You’ll notice that some ingredient lists have pasteurized in front of the milk. If you don’t see this term, it doesn’t matter. To be sold in the U.S., manufacturers must make butter from pasteurized products.
Here are the Ingredients in Costco Butter.
Kirkland Salted Butter Ingredients:
Cream (Milk), Salt
Kirkland Unsalted Butter Ingredients:
Cream (Milk), Natural Flavorings
Kirkland Signature Grass-Fed Butter Ingredients:
Pasteurized Cream (Milk), Salt
Kirkland Signature Organic Butter Ingredients:
Pasteurized Organic Sweet Cream (Milk), Salt
Kerrygold Salted Butter Ingredients:
Pasteurized Cream, Salt
Kerrygold Unsalted Butter Ingredients:
Pasteurized Cream, Skimmed Milk, Cultures
Why Does Costco Unsalted Butter Contain Natural Flavors?
Unlike the other versions, Kirkland Signature Unsalted Butter includes natural flavoring. This is a catch-all term that covers lots of items. The FDA describes natural flavors (or flavoring) as “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
In this instance, it’s likely a “compound called diacetyl, a natural byproduct derived from culturing skim milk with bacteria, namely Streptococcus lactis,” according to America’s Test Kitchen. Salt is an excellent preservative; in its absence, the flavoring will likely extend shelf life.
Costco Butter Reviews
To help determine the best Costco butter, we’ve evaluated taste, cost, uses, and health benefits.
Kirkland Signature Unsalted Butter Review
This butter is excellent for your baking needs. Since it doesn’t contain salt, the baker can control the amount. We don’t recommend this type for regular consumption, like spreading on toast, since it needs some salt to amplify the flavor. The flavor is a little flat.
Kirkland Signature Unsalted Butter has the lightest color and the mildest flavor. The other unsalted butter we tried, Kerrygold, has a much better flavor, likely thanks to the grass-fed nature of the cows and the churning process. We liked the Kerrygold version more.
You cannot beat the price. The warehouse is selling four one-pound packages for just $12.49. A comparable store brand butter costs $4.19 for one pound, making the same amount $16.76, 25% more than Costco.
If you bake a lot, this is a great deal.
Kirkland Signature Salted Butter Review
If you want a cheap, standard butter with a great flavor, try Kirkland Signature Salted Butter. It tastes like a standard version, and the salt is evenly dispersed among the sticks. We’ve tried other brands where some pats were salty and others flavorless, but not this one!
The price is the same as the unsalted variety, $12.49 for four pounds, which is a deal! A store-brand butter costs $4.19 for one pound, making the same amount $16.76 or 25% more than Costco.
You can use salted butter in place of the unsalted version. While the exact amount of salt is unclear, a simple method is to assume ¼ teaspoon per stick. More advanced bakers will want complete control of their recipes and not stray, but the substitution works for most home bakers and anyone in a pinch.
Costco salted butter is the type we buy all year round, but we are torn as to our favorite after trying the Kirkland Grass-Fed Butter.
Kirkland Signature Grass Fed Butter
Kirkland Signature Grass Fed Butter is the newest guy on the block. This butter, introduced in 2021, is produced by Westland Milk Products in Hokitika, New Zealand. Farmers feed cows a diet of 95% grass and 5% grain. It’s also guaranteed GMO-Free as the country banned their use.
The first thing you notice about the butter is the deep yellow color, which contrasts with the lighter standard butter. This natural hue is thanks to the more significant amount of beta-carotene in the cream from the cows’ diet.
As for the taste, it’s much richer than the standard salted butter. The company uses a European churning process that naturally increases the cream’s fat content. One tablespoon of Kirkland Signature Grass-Fed Butter contains 11 grams of total fat, 7 of which are saturated.
There are some studies, according to Healthline, that state grass-fed butter may be more nutritious than the standard variety. “Compared to regular butter, grass-fed butter has been found to be higher in vitamin K2 and healthy fats, such as omega-3s and CLA.”
Kirkland Signature Grass Fed Butter is comparable to Kerry Gold Butter but has a much better taste even though it’s produced using similar churning methods. As for price, the Costco product costs $9.99 at the warehouse, while Kerry Gold is $14.49.
We love this butter in moderation. The high saturated fat content makes it not the best for a heart-healthy diet, but the taste is unrivaled. If you want full-bodied butter, this is the one to buy.
Kirkland Signature Organic Salted Butter Review
Before we get into its taste, there are a few things to clarify what organic butter is and isn’t.
First, organic and grass-fed are not the same. Cows producing the cream for organic products are typically grain-fed. The grain must be 100 percent organic, but it isn’t grass. This may seem like a non-issue for some, but the rich flavor and color come from what the cows ingest.
The main difference is that one has organic cream. Salt cannot be organic or inorganic since it’s a mineral and not an agricultural product. But to be considered organic, dairy cows must be free from antibiotics and hormones, as stated in the strict USDA Guidelines.
You are paying a great deal more for the organic product. Two pounds of Kirkland Signature Organic Salted Butter costs $11.49. That breaks down to $5.75 per pound, nearly double the $3.12 cost for the non-organic warehouse version. Whole Foods sells one pound of their 365 Organic Salted Butter for $5.69. This is one of the few instances where the warehouse is not substantially cheaper.
Kirkland Signature Organic Salted Butter is very similar to Kirkland Signature Salted Butter.
There are negligible differences when comparing the organic and non-organic nutrition facts. Every number was the same, except the organic version had 3mcg more Vitamin A while the non-organic version had one gram more total fat.
We cannot determine why, but this butter had a fake taste. It was our least favorite of the bunch. We wouldn’t buy or recommend even when weighing the benefits of organic.
Costco Kerrygold Salted Butter Review
Kerrygold Salted Butter is comparable to Kirkland Signature Grass-Fed Butter. Both cows have similar grass diets, and the churning process yields the same higher fat content.
As for nutrition, compared to Kirkland Signature Grass Fed, Kerrygold Salted Butter has one gram more saturated fat per one tablespoon serving and 25 mg more sodium. It doesn’t taste saltier despite the higher amount.
It has a beautiful golden yellow color and silky texture but has less flavor than Kirkland Signature Grass-Fed. Plus, Kirkland’s version is much cheaper.
We paid $14.49 for two pounds of Kerrygold Salted Butter at Costco. This breaks down to $3.62 per eight ounces (which is how most grocery stores sell it). Our local grocer sold an eight-ounce package for $5.49.
That’s more than ⅓ more! If you want Kerrygold Butter – buy it at Costco!
Costco Kerrygold Unsalted Butter Review
If you are looking for a silky texture with a rich taste minus the salt, Kerrygold Unsalted Butter is just what you are looking for. It has all the grass-fed qualities and the same nutritional profile.
You certainly notice the lack of salt in the butter, but this is an excellent option to reduce your sodium while not sacrificing flavor. It’s also ideal for producing flaky pie crusts and crumbly cookies.
We paid $14.49 for two pounds of Kerrygold Unsalted Butter at Costco. This breaks down to $3.62 per eight ounces (which is how most grocery stores sell it). Our local grocer sold an eight-ounce package for $5.49.
Costco’s price for Kerry Gold Unsalted Butter is excellent!
What Is the Best Real Butter at Costco?
It’s hard to pick the best butter at Costco because three of the six types sold there are solid contenders.
- Best Overall Costco Butter — Kirkland Signature Grass-Fed
- Best Budget Pick for Costco Butter — Kirkland Signature Salted Butter
- Best Unsalted Butter at Costco — Kerrygold Unsalted
If we had to pick the best real butter at Costco, it would be Kirkland Signature Grass-Fed. The taste is deep and precisely what you want the butter to be while remaining silky and spreadable. Compared to other grass-fed options, this is a steal. But it is still costly, so if you use a lot of butter or are on a strict budget, it’s not for you.
In this case, try Kirkland Signature Salted Butter. It has a simple flavor and good texture while remaining an excellent value.
If you are trying to lower your sodium intake or baking, we recommend Kerrygold Unsalted. It had the best flavor and, unlike many versions that lack salt, still had a great taste without an aftertaste that some others have.
Which Type of Costco Butter To Use?
Not all kinds of butter are created equal. Here are the best uses for Costco butter.
Salted— On bread and general cooking, Baking (omit additional salt).
Unsalted — Baking and cooking for low-sodium dieters.
Grass-Fed — On bread and baking where you want a strong butter flavor to come through (pie dough, icings, compound butter, buttercream icing)
Kerrygold — On bread and aking where you want a strong butter flavor to come through (pie dough, icings, compound butter, buttercream icing.
Kerrygold Unsalted — General use for low-sodium dieters and baking pies.
You can substitute salted and unsalted butter using a 1:1 ratio. If you use salted butter, you want to adjust your salt. A good rule of thumb is that there’s ¼ tsp per stick.
Costco Butter FAQ
Where Is Kirkland Butter From?
Costco is notoriously tight-lipped about their manufacturers, but like canned tuna, they are open about their butter supplier. Kirkland Signature Grass-Fed Butter is made in partnership with Westland Milk Products in Hokitika, New Zealand.
Is Organic Butter Better?
This is where things get tricky. Organic butter comes from cows that are fed organic food. In the United States, cows must have access to at least 120 days of pasture grass to get the Organic label for butter. As for ingredients, the salt count doesn’t, but the cream must be organic, and the product cannot contain any GMOs.
Access to pasture grass does not necessarily mean the cattle are roaming free on a pasture. The 120-day timeframe is likely because of the farm climate. It may not be warm enough for cattle to be outside during some months of the year. These cows can still eat grain.
We haven’t found any concrete evidence that organic butter has health benefits over conventional. There are many benefits of grass-fed butter, though.
Is Costco Butter Real Butter?
Yes, the six types of butter sold at Costco are considered real butter. The Act of March 4, 1923 (21 U.S.C. 321a), defines butter as ‘‘the food product usually known as butter, and which is made exclusively from milk or cream, or both, with or without common salt, and with or without additional coloring matter, and containing not less than 80 per centum by weight of milk fat.’’ All of the butters reviewed in this article meet that criteria.
Can You Freeze Butter?
Yes! You can freeze butter. There is nothing special you need to do; simply place the package in the freezer. It will last for at least 12 months.
Since it is so easy to store butter in the freezer, it’s an excellent Costco staple.
How Long Is Butter Good For?
If kept at the proper temperature in the refrigerator, butter is good for one to three months. Freeze it to prolong its shelf life. Frozen butter lasts up to 12 months for sticks and 18 months for blocks.
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