Ingredients

Should You Buy Extra-Virgin Olive Oil at Costco?

We wanted to know whether extra-virgin olive oil at Costco stacks up to favorite supermarket and premium brands.
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Published Dec. 26, 2023.

Everybody loves a bargain, and the extra-virgin olive oil at Costco is enticingly priced. 

Costco is the largest buyer of olive oil in the United States and has evidently negotiated some sweet volume discounts. In a recent trip to a Boston-area Costco, we found an aisle teeming with huge 2- and 3-liter plastic bottles of EVOO, selling at about $0.24 to $0.27 per ounce. That’s roughly half the typical price of our favorite supermarket extra virgin olive oil

We also spotted 1-liter dark green glass bottles of premium extra-virgin olive oil from Terra di Bari, a P.D.O, or protected designated production region of Italy. We liked that each bottle prominently displayed a recent harvest date, an excellent sign of fresher, better-tasting oil. (Learn more about shopping for olive oil here.) Surprisingly, it cost just $0.44 per ounce. By contrast, a typical price for one of our favorite premium extra-virgin olive oils was more than $2.00 per ounce. 

The price is right, but how do they taste?

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How We Tasted

We held a tasting with no identifying information, pitting three of the store-brand extra-virgin olive oils—Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Kirkland 100% Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Kirkland 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil—against our tasters’ favorite supermarket olive oil, Carapelli Original Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 

We also compared the Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Terra di Bari Bitonto P.D.O. to one of our tasters’ favorite premium olive oils, Castillo di Canena Reserva Familiar Picual, from Spain. 

Is Costco Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Any Good?

The good news? We enjoyed and recommended all of the oils we tasted. While we rated our premium favorite higher than Costco’s premium oil, scores were nearly tied between our supermarket favorite Carapelli and the Kirkland 100% Italian extra virgin olive oil. The other two, Kirkland organic and 100% Spanish oils, trailed just behind. 

So, if you’re a Costco member and can quickly use up 2- to 3-liter bottles of olive oil, it’s worth picking up your everyday EVOO there, or try a premium selection at a truly bargain price. Preserve freshness as long as possible by storing bottles of olive oil in a cool, dark place, tightly sealed—and use them up within a few months, since olive oil is highly perishable. 

Guide

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Note that you may not be able to find all of these exact olive oils in stock. We spoke with Justin Knapp, buyer in charge of Costco’s olive oil nationally, who told us that some of the olive oil selections may change throughout the year. “There are some olive oils that we keep in stock year round like our Italian EVOO, Organic EVOO and Spanish EVOO. We will rotate in the glass 1-liter bottles of different origins that are either PDO- or PGI-certified,” he said.

For more information about olive oil, including our tasters’ impressions of the brands we compared the Kirkland oils against, see our tastings for premium extra-virgin olive oil and supermarket extra-virgin olive oil.

Here’s what our tasters had to say about the Costco brands, listed in order of preference.

Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Terra di Bari Bitonto P.D.O.

  • Price: $14.99 for 1 liter ($0.44 per oz)
  • Comments: “Super nice, complex and buttery with bright grassy scent,” this higher-end selection “has a kick to it,” and was “lightly spicy” with “peppery” flavor. 

Kirkland Signature 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Price: $17.99 for 2 liters ($0.27 per oz)
  • Comments: “Tastes ripe and fresh. Could go with anything; not too much flavor that it would take away from what its being served with,” this Italian oil came across as “sweet,” “floral,” “smooth,” “mild and buttery.” 

Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Price: $17.99 for 2 liters ($0.27 per oz)
  • Comments: “A bit herbaceous,” with a slightly “peppery” aftertaste, this organic oil had “a nice scent” and was deemed “inoffensive,” and “not overly flavorful but seems well-rounded.”

Kirkland Signature 100% Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Price: $23.99 for 3 liters ($0.24 per oz)
  • Comments: This Spanish oil came across as “very neutral,” “very light” and “smooth,” with “ripe olive flavor,” and while tasters rated it as recommended, several found its flavor “not overly complex,” with “not much going on.”

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