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In a world of declining product quality and inflation, few brands have stood the test of time and remained relevant, particularly since the beginning of the 21st century. But there's one major exception: a company that somehow seems to keep its prices and quality consistent (mostly) despite rising prices elsewhere. That company is Costco.

Where social media has been the downfall of countless other companies, with users exposing scandals, social inequity, or shady business practices, Costco gets a lot of attention online, and it's overwhelmingly positive.

We wanted to know: what Costco products are people raving about online and leading to the company's positive press? We scoured sites like Facebook, X, Instagram, and Reddit to find out the most popular Costco products in each state.

Key Takeaways

  • The majority (19 out of 30) of Costco's most popular products are its own brand, including the top product in the country, Kirkland paper towels.

  • Comments from Costco customers on social media indicate that they're most impressed by low prices that are met with good-quality products.

  • Costco's popularity is not based in blind consumer loyalty; customers point out the rare instances when products decline in quality.

  • The wholesaler is living, breathing proof that not solely focusing on the bottom line is still a viable business strategy.

Why It Matters

  • Brand recognition and relevance is more and more challenging in our digital, fast-paced world. Costco exemplifies how to maintain brand identity effectively.

  • The data highlight that innovation isn't always the cornerstone of good business. Some of Costco's most popular products have been around for decades.

  • Consumers clearly value affordable pricing, but product quality needs to align with that for a satisfied customer.

It's Always About the Mac & Cheese, Isn't It?

The Costco product talked about most in the most states? The Goodles Cheddy Mac White Cheddar Shells, dominating online discussions in 4 states: Georgia, Mississippi, New York, and Ohio.

Top Costco Products

Most people commenting about the mac and cheese online made reference to the protein content, or that it's a healthier version of Kraft. And plenty of people noted how affordable it is, even if you do have to buy it in a pack of 200 (just kidding).

We can't help but share one of our favorite comments:

"My kids LOVE IT! It is cheesier".

Cheesier than what? We're not sure. But I guess we agree? The key here isn't the cheese content, it's that it remains an affordable and healthy-ish option that's still tastier (see what we did there?).

Four products were close behind the boxed mac in terms of popularity, each taking center stage on social media in three states:

Trident Fish Sticks

Most popular in: Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington
Our favorite comment: "Yep! I don't eat Fish Sticks, but these are good!" (Umm what?)

Reese's Dipped Animal Crackers

Most popular in: Kentucky, Montana, and Nebraska
Our favorite comment: "I bought a bag a few weeks ago, and we ate it in one sitting, now I'm not allowed to bring anymore into the house." (Same. We feel you.)

Kirkland Prosecco

Most popular in: Arizona, California, and Illinois
Our favorite comment: "I love the Kirkland Prosecco. Tastes as good or better than ones twice the price." (See? It's all about value and affordability! Costco gets us.)

General Mills Morning Summit Cereal

Most popular in: Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Texas
Our favorite comment: "This is, BY FAR, our favorite breakfast cereal. You are right, you don't have to eat very much to be filled up. And your jaws hurt afterward." (Sounds great?)

We'd be remiss if we didn't point out that California, one of the world's most esteemed wine capitals, is obsessed with Kirkland Signature brand prosecco. That HAS to say something about the quality of Costco's products, no? At just $7 a bottle, this is more than a little impressive.

People Appreciate the Necessities Most...and Gold Bars

State-specific Costco favorites are one thing, but when it comes to the most talked-about product from Costco in the country, it's the Kirkland Premium Paper Towels, the only product with over 1,100 mentions on social media over a single week.

You might think that's because paper towels are a necessity, so tons of people buy them. Or maybe it's because they're affordable, at just $22.99 a package.

But the second-most discussed Costco product, with 1,089 mentions in a single week, was the...gold bars? It makes sense, really. When you're trudging through the crowded aisles searching for the Goodles mac, you probably have but two other things on our mind: chowing down on that dollar-fifty hot dog and soda combo after checking out and balancing your portfolio.

All you need to know about why this $2,000+ item from Costco is a hit product comes from one simple comment from social media: "Save them to barter when doomsday comes."

The only other product to hit over 1,000 comments in a week from Costco is the beloved rotisserie chicken. This is one of the few places where the supermarket giant has taken some flak. It seems as thought the brand finally realized that they were losing money by charging $4.99 for an entire roasted chicken. We found lots of comments about a decline in flavor, like this one:

"It used to be good. Now it tastes like chemicals. There's a whole thread about it, actually."

This reinforces the whole idea that people value quality and affordability, especially during times when the dollar is worth less and less. You don't have to reinvent the wheel to develop a positive brand image. Just sell a hot dog that isn't absolute garbage at a price people can afford, and you get free online publicity like THIS:

"Bad day today. But I just got a Costco hot dog, so everything's coming up".

"Inflation isn't real if the only thing you eat is the Costco Hot Dog Combo."

Costco's Brand Image: Built On Dollar Hot Dogs?

Costco recently celebrated its 40th birthday, making it one of the few companies that has been around for multiple decades and still maintains an overwhelmingly positive brand image. And it might seem like it's built entirely on cheap-but-decent hot dogs, pizza, rotisserie chicken, and mac and cheese (and $2,000 gold bars), but our data shows that there's more to the story.

According to the Motley Fool, Costco employees earn an average of $26 an hour, more than triple the federal minimum wage. It has won the "Best Places to Work" award from Glassdoor every year but one (2018) since 2012. And while the cost of living in the U.S. has increased nearly 20% since 2020, Costco remains a customer favorite by keeping quality high and prices low. The company is a testament to the fact that customers will adore you if you care about more than the bottom line.

Hover over each state to find its full list of top Costco products on the map below.


To determine the most popular products among Costco customers in the U.S., we reviewed 50 popular hashtags related to the store and the posts made tied to these hashtags over the course of a week in March 2024 (approximately 15,000 posts). We used this to build a list of the most discussed products across major social media platforms (Facebook, Reddit, Twitter (X) and Instagram). The number of comments was used as a metric to rank the top overall products. Top products for each state were determined based on location based comments and Google Trends data.

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