Did Costco Swap Out A Beloved Ghee Brand With Its Own Kirkland Version

Costco giveth, and Costco taketh away — or does it? One Redditor thinks so. In a recent post on an unofficial subreddit about the mega retailer, Redditor u/T4547 posted a picture of a 27-oz jar of organic ghee, the clarified butter often used in Indian cooking. They expressed disappointment, claiming that, "Costco takes away the grass fed ghee and replaces it with its own band (sic)," adding, "No grass fed no buy!!" According to the image, the jar of ghee, emblazoned with the Kirkland logo, sells for $18.99. 

Costco has historically carried grass-fed ghee from several brands, including Tin Star Foods and Ancient Origins. While it's not clear which brand the poster was referring to, they may be talking about Tin Star Foods ghee, since it's still on Costco's website. However, it appears to be unavailable for shipping in most areas. Tin Star Foods ghee has disappeared from Costco's shelves before. In 2021, the brand issued a recall due to a quality issue that affected the product's shelf life. It's unclear if quality control issues led Costco to discontinue the brand, but it seems that the clarified butter may be missed. 

This doesn't necessarily mean that Tin Star Ghee is gone for good or that Costco intends its own product to be a replacement. Costco's website states: "If a product is only sold in the warehouse, its availability will not be displayed online." It adds, "There are items you'll find online that you won't find in the warehouse, and vice versa."

Where can you buy grass-fed ghee?

The annoyed Redditor wasn't just being facetious: Grass fed butter has a unique taste and nutritional profile. And ghee is simply butter without the milk solids or water content.

However, while many commenters commiserated with the original poster, some debated whether the Kirkland brand ghee might contain a high percentage of grass-fed butter, too. The product in the image is USDA certified; any USDA certified "organic" dairy products come from cows provided with at least 120 days of pasture grazing per year. Commenters speculated that the ghee might be from the same butter as Costco's Kirkland 95% Grass Fed New Zealand butter, though there was no indication that is the case.

Other Redditors suggested making ghee or clarified butter from grass-fed butter at home. The process isn't difficult, and, aside from its New Zealand grass-fed butter, Costco is known to carry packs of grass-fed butter made by popular Irish brand Kerrygold, too.

And for die-hard fans of Tin Star Ghee? The product is still available from the brand's website and from Amazon, where customers rave about the flavor.