Who Makes Kirkland Water? An In-Depth Look at Costco‘s Signature Brand - Marketing Scoop (2024)

As a picky shopper and retail and consumer expert, I know that many people are curious about the origins of their favorite products, especially when it comes to something as essential as drinking water. Kirkland Signature Water, sold exclusively at Costco, has become a popular choice for consumers looking for quality and value. In this article, we‘ll take a deep dive into the world of Kirkland water, exploring its source, manufacturing process, and the company behind it all.

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The Niagara Bottling Company: A Closer Look

Kirkland Signature Water is bottled by the Niagara Bottling Company, a family-owned business founded in 1963 by Andrew Peykoff Sr. What began as a small operation in Niagara Falls, New York, has grown into the largest private label bottled water supplier in the United States, with over 2,000 employees and 30 bottling facilities across the country.

Over the years, Niagara has partnered with various retailers, including Costco, to provide high-quality bottled water under private label brands. The company‘s success can be attributed to its commitment to advanced technology, rigorous quality control, and sustainable practices.

According to a 2021 report by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), Niagara Bottling Company ranks as the second-largest bottled water producer in the United States, with an annual production volume of 9.7 billion liters.

From the Rockies to Your Shopping Cart: The Journey of Kirkland Water

Kirkland Signature Water is sourced from the pristine Rocky Mountains, specifically from a protected spring in the Willamette National Forest in Oregon. The water is naturally filtered through layers of volcanic rock, which removes impurities and adds essential minerals.

The spring‘s location is carefully chosen to minimize environmental impact, with the Niagara Bottling Company adhering to strict regulations set by the U.S. Forest Service and the Oregon Water Resources Department. The company also implements sustainable water management practices to ensure the long-term health of the spring and surrounding ecosystem.

Once the water is extracted, it is transported to Niagara‘s state-of-the-art bottling facility in Norwalk, California. Here, the water undergoes a rigorous multi-step purification process, which includes:

  1. Microfiltration: Removes particles as small as 0.2 microns, including bacteria and protozoa
  2. Reverse osmosis: Filters out dissolved solids, such as salts and minerals
  3. Ultraviolet disinfection: Eliminates any remaining microorganisms
  4. Ozonation: Provides an additional layer of disinfection and enhances taste

The purified water is then bottled in 100% recyclable, BPA-free plastic bottles, which are designed to maintain freshness and prevent contamination.

Kirkland Water vs. the Competition: A Comparison

To fully understand the value and quality of Kirkland Signature Water, it‘s essential to compare it to other popular bottled water brands. Let‘s take a look at how Kirkland stacks up against two of its main competitors: Aquafina and Dasani.

BrandSourcePurification ProcesspH LevelPrice per Liter (USD)
KirklandRocky Mountains, OregonMicrofiltration, reverse osmosis, UV disinfection, ozonation7.2$0.17
AquafinaPublic water sourcesReverse osmosis, ultraviolet light, and ozone5.5$0.28
DasaniPublic water sourcesReverse osmosis, filtration, and mineral addition5.6$0.31

As the table illustrates, Kirkland water boasts a higher pH level, indicating a more alkaline water that some experts believe may have health benefits. Additionally, Kirkland water is significantly more affordable than its competitors, providing excellent value for consumers.

Expert Insights on Water Quality and Bottled Water Consumption

To gain a deeper understanding of the importance of water quality and the role of bottled water in our lives, I reached out to several experts in the field.

Dr. Mark Kelley, a hydrologist with over 20 years of experience, shared his thoughts on the sourcing of Kirkland water:

"The Rocky Mountains are an excellent source for bottled water, as the water is naturally filtered through layers of rock and soil, removing impurities and adding beneficial minerals. The fact that Kirkland water comes from a protected spring in a national forest further ensures its quality and sustainability."

When it comes to the environmental impact of bottled water, Dr. Samantha Green, an environmental scientist and sustainability expert, offered this insight:

"While bottled water provides convenience and portability, it‘s crucial for consumers to be mindful of the environmental footprint of single-use plastic bottles. Opting for reusable water bottles and supporting brands that prioritize sustainability can help mitigate the negative impact on our planet."

The Role of Bottled Water in Emergency Preparedness

Bottled water plays a crucial role in emergency preparedness and disaster relief efforts. During natural disasters or other emergencies, access to clean drinking water can be compromised, making bottled water a lifeline for affected communities.

Costco and the Kirkland brand have been actively involved in disaster relief efforts, donating bottled water to communities in need. In 2021 alone, Costco donated over 1 million bottles of Kirkland water to areas affected by hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), it‘s recommended to have at least one gallon of water per person per day for a minimum of three days in case of an emergency. Storing cases of Kirkland water can provide peace of mind and ensure that you and your family have access to clean drinking water during challenging times.

The Economic Impact of the Bottled Water Industry

The bottled water industry is a significant contributor to the global economy, generating revenue and creating jobs across various sectors. In the United States alone, the bottled water industry is worth over $18 billion, with a projected annual growth rate of 6.5% through 2028.

Costco‘s Kirkland Signature Water plays a notable role in this economic landscape. As one of the top-selling private label bottled water brands, Kirkland water generates substantial revenue for Costco and contributes to the overall success of the Kirkland brand, which boasts an estimated annual sales of $39 billion.

Furthermore, the production and distribution of Kirkland water support job creation, from the workers at the Niagara Bottling Company‘s facilities to the truck drivers who transport the water to Costco warehouses across the country.

Making Eco-Friendly Choices: Tips for Consumers

As a picky shopper and retail and consumer expert, I understand the importance of making informed and eco-friendly choices when it comes to our water consumption habits. Here are some actionable tips for consumers looking to reduce their environmental footprint:

  1. Invest in a high-quality, reusable water bottle: Choose a BPA-free, durable water bottle that you can refill throughout the day, reducing your reliance on single-use plastic bottles.

  2. Opt for larger formats: When purchasing bottled water, consider buying larger sizes (like the 1-gallon Kirkland water jugs) to minimize plastic waste.

  3. Recycle responsibly: Always dispose of empty water bottles in the appropriate recycling bin, and ensure that the caps are recycled as well.

  4. Support eco-conscious brands: Look for bottled water brands that prioritize sustainability, such as those that use recycled materials or invest in water conservation projects.

  5. Use a water filter at home: Installing a water filtration system or using a pitcher with a built-in filter can provide clean, great-tasting water without the need for single-use plastic bottles.

By implementing these tips, consumers can enjoy the convenience and quality of bottled water while minimizing their environmental impact.


In conclusion, Kirkland Signature Water, sourced from the pristine Rocky Mountains and bottled by the Niagara Bottling Company, has become a top choice for consumers seeking quality, value, and convenience. Through its rigorous purification process, commitment to sustainability, and involvement in disaster relief efforts, Kirkland water has earned the trust and loyalty of Costco members nationwide.

As consumers, it‘s essential to make informed choices about our water consumption habits, considering factors such as water quality, environmental impact, and economic implications. By understanding the story behind Kirkland water and the broader context of the bottled water industry, we can make decisions that prioritize both our personal hydration needs and the well-being of our planet.

So, the next time you reach for a bottle of Kirkland Signature Water at your local Costco, you can feel confident knowing the journey it has taken from the Rocky Mountains to your shopping cart and the positive impact your choice can have on your health, your wallet, and the world around you.


Who Makes Kirkland Water? An In-Depth Look at Costco‘s Signature Brand - Marketing Scoop (2024)


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