I realize that I have had several baby-related posts lately, but becoming a new mother will do that. Much of my googling these days revolves around baby questions, but I won’t bore you with all of those. But today comes a special What I Googled Last Night investigation… Who manufactures Kirkland brand infant formula? The answer appears to be Abbott Nutrition, which is also the manufacturer of Similac. For more details, read on!
Like many new moms, despite my initial plans, I have had to supplement with formula for my baby’s nutritional needs. We have been using Similac for Supplementation, which in itself raises some questions, but last week during a family trip to Costco (our entertainment these days is different than it was five months ago), I was shocked to see that the Costco/Kirkland brand infant formula was a fraction of the price of Similac.
Following that discovery, my husband and I each did research about formula and learned that the FDA regulates minimums and maximums of all of the essential ingredients, so there is no need to buy the brand name formulas.
Still, we, like any parents, wanted to make sure that we were not harming our baby by not using the more expensive formulas. My husband made an off-hand comment that he bet that Kirkland Formula was manufactured by the same maker as Similac, and that comment prompted me to do some research to figure out who makes Kirkland formula.
Most of my googling ends up with easy, quick results. Not so with this. I started with the hypothesis that one of the big manufacturers makes Kirkland Infant Formula and that it would be hard to confirm that because the big companies would have an incentive not to publicize that information since they charge so much more for the brand names. For example, diapers.com sells 34 oz of Similac Advance for $46.19. By contrast, in its stores, Costco sells 40 oz. of its formula for $17!
So, I figured I would have some digging to do and I did. I found many references in online bulletin boards and blogs that Kirkland formula is manufactured by Abbott Nutrition, which also manufactures Similac, but no definitive proof. So I dug a bit further and here is what I found:
- In March, 2014, the FDA issued a press release that Abbott Nutrition was working with its criminal investigations office to recover stolen formula. The two types of formula stolen were Similac and Kirkland Brand. The formula was stolen en route from Casa Grande, Arizona, which is one of the production facilities for Abbott brands of formula.
- A USDA report from its Economic Research Service notes the following: “In the spring of 2001, Abbott Labs, the parent company of Ross, began producing a private label infant formula for sale in Costco stores.”
Based on my research, I am reasonably confident that Abbott Nutrition does manufacture Kirkland Brand Infant Formula. As long as our baby adjusts well to it, we will be saving some money in the coming months!