The Brand That's Behind Costco's Kirkland Signature Tail-On Shrimp

Costco isn't exactly secretive about the companies that supply products for its Kirkland Signature line, but it isn't forthcoming either. That said, there are certain items for which the provenance is established. For instance, the cooked, tail-on, farm-raised shrimp comes from Kader Exports, an Indian processor of seafood. The company provides shrimp for a range of brands, including Aqua Star Reserve, Censea, Unistar, Tops, Fresh Market, and Wellsley Farms.

Kader Exports sources its shrimp from various seafood farming operations in Asia, and Kirkland Signature cooked shrimp is labeled as a product of Vietnam. The shrimp are deveined and ready-to-eat once thawed making them a great option for quick meals and topping salads or throwing in a wrap or sandwich. These shrimp would even make a great addition to many of our favorite shrimp recipes, from Garlic Shrimp Mac and Cheese or Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice. Each bag weighs 2 pounds and contains about 31 to 40 shrimp per pound. While Tasting Table has yet to review these cooked shrimp, they likely fare better in their simplicity than the Tastee Choice seafood boil kit the store sells which had many customers turning up their noses.

Kader Exports have run afoul of the FDA multiple times

Being an overseas company and one that doesn't traffic in direct-to-consumer sales, Kader Exports has a minimal online presence. As such, information about the company is hard to come by. According to the company's LinkedIn page, Kader Exports is based in Mumbai, has cold storage units in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and deals mostly with shrimp exports.

As mentioned, the company has been in the news due to past recalls that have forced them to remove shrimp from shelves, including Costco's. The potential risk of exposure to salmonella was behind a 2020 recall of cooked shrimp across many of the purveyors of its seafood. The company has also been cited by the FDA for a range of issues. Those have included having "one entry line refused for shrimp contaminated with nitrofurans, veterinary drug residues, and for filth" as well as being added to an FDA Import Alert due to contamination with the antibiotic Chloramphenicol. While these sorts of actions and alerts can be alarming, it is important to note that Costco has rigorous standards that apply to all products bearing the Kirkland Signature name.