Is Costco’s Coconut Oil Junk? Or the Real Deal?

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.
It is not a substitute for your doctor's care plan or advice.

Costco sells Carrington Farms Coconut Oil-is it cheap coconut oil or the real deal? Seems like the price is too good to be true - but is it? Is Costco selling junk just to make a buck? Read this and find out the truth.

Do you shop at Costco?  More and more Costco has great deals on whole foods and gluten-free products and our family has enjoyed taking advantage of the savings at this “big box giant”.

But have you seen their great deal on coconut oil?

We use coconut oil for everything – from homemade moisturizer to gluten-free baking to homemade popcorn, so we go through a ton of it.

I saw Costco's coconut oil offering and wondered myself–“Could this really be high quality coconut oil at this price?”  So I bought some about 4 months ago and put it on my shelf.

Many have been thrilled about being able to purchase a great wholesome fat like coconut oil at Costco for a great price.

But not everyone is happy about it.

I honestly was almost in tears this past week seeing what can happen when due diligence isn't done, accusations are made carelessly, and apologies don't come.

If you don't know what I am talking about, read on.

I worked on this post for quite awhile to make sure I had the whole story covered and covered well. There is a lot of misinformation to clear up, and it's going to take awhile, so please hang with me for another “longish” post :).

This past week, a post called “Why Buying Coconut Oil at Costco is Risky Business” came out on a very popular healthy living blog, The Healthy Home Economist.

In a nutshell, one person contacted the owner of that blog, Sarah Pope, on her Facebook page, and told her that she had purchased Carrington Farms' Coconut Oil from Costco. She stated:

“I just opened and began using a big container of coconut oil (got it at Costco) that I’ve had for maybe 3 months and it has sat on my pantry shelf (outside in my garage, I live in Texas so it’s gotten hotter than 100 degrees). It smells like burned marshmallows, or maybe the inside of a pumpkin on Halloween. Since I can’t find any web sites that describe the smell (other than “yucky” and “very, very bad”) for rancid coconut oil, could you please help me out? I can’t stand to put it on my face….but can I still cook with it?”

First of all, Sarah's advice to her reader that she not use the coconut oil was good advice.

But that is where the good advice stopped.

Sarah then went on to vilify Carrington Farms and Costco and to cast aspersions on almost the entire US Coconut Oil market.

Here's what went down and how it went wrong:

Accusations Against Carrington Farms–and the Truth

Accusation #1: Costco's oil spoiled because there was something wrong with the oil

Sarah assumed, without doing any research, that the Costco customer's oil was “bad” due to either poor quality, poor filtration, or the oil being just plain “old.”  To quote her:

It’s anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure.  It was not fresh, high quality Grade A coconut oil.   Cheaply priced coconut oil at a discount store is going to get you exactly that:  cheap oil that is likely old, improperly filtered (manufacturer’s defect) and not the best choice for your health.

Response: There is no way to know the cause of the problem without more evidence

After reading this post, I thought that I would contact Carrington Farms myself to learn more details about the situation.

I talked to one of Carrington Farms' Vice Presidents, and she said that they haven't had any other recent complaints about their coconut oil being bad, and that they never got any information from Mary M. about their oil– no lot number and no expiration date. Nothing.

So while she admitted that there is a slim possibility that there was something wrong with the oil, she said that it is much more likely that the oil was opened and something foreign got in there to cause the problem.

For example, perhaps Mary had opened the container, used a spoon to get some coconut oil out, and the spoon had something on it. Or some such “user error.”

However, there really is no way for them, or for us, to know anything because all we have is Mary M's message and Sarah's response.

UPDATE (7/3/13):  A few readers have mentioned that it was likely the fact that Mary stored the coconut oil in her hot garage that led to it spoiling.  I don't know. Of course, the label says to store in a cool dry place, but I have read in numerous places that people have stored their coconut oil in a hot place with no problem. Furthermore, Sarah mentioned in her post:

I have never had it go off, even when kept for a year or two in my garage where the temperature easily reaches a 110-120F on humid August afternoons.

so I decided not to blame the smell issue on the hot garage.

2.  Accusation #2: Costco sells inferior or old food products

To quote Sarah:

the big box wholesalers like Costco have been faced with a dilemma – how best to capitalize on the coconut oil frenzy while keeping the price dirt cheap. I’ll admit that I’ve been suspicious of the big box wholesaler brands of coconut oil for quite awhile. The price just didn’t jive with the price I knew to be necessary to ensure a quality, pure product.

Response: Costco carries quality food products – Carrington's oil is one of them

I've been a Costco member for many years, and mostly we've been thrilled with their quality. And I'm not easy to please about some things (maybe you can guess that as you read my posts and see the lengths I go to at times to make sure I am getting a good product). In fact, I've had to return some things to them and they aren't always happy about that. But that is too bad–they claim to have high quality and consumers should hold them to that.

But I have never ever thought that they intentionally partnered with companies that sold junk. There are, of course, companies that sell bulk name brand clothing to stores like Costco that are lower quality so they can sell them inexpensively, but to my knowledge, there are no “lower quality foods” being sold to Costco.

I think Costco has some things to learn about getting and keeping more and more whole food products in their stores (I am petitioning them every time I go to get the Coleman Natural Hot Dogs back.  So if you are a member, drop that message in their suggestion box for me too, OK – “Get Coleman Hot Dogs year round :)!”  Thank you!!)

Anyway, about Carrington Farms' super reasonable coconut oil at Costco . . .

What Carrington's VP said to me is that the low price of their oil at Costco is simply a matter of the economy of scale.

Carrington sells coconut oil in 12 oz and 54 ounce sizes.  The 54 ounce size is what Costco carries.

They sell their 54 ounce for $24.99 on Amazon and for $15.99 at Costco. And they also have their own website.

That $15.99 is a real steal, but here is the deal.

It takes the same amount of work for Carrington to sell 1 container of coconut oil off their website as it does to sell 20,000 jars to Costco.

They have to take an order, pack it up, and ship it.

I know how this works.  I sell products on my Natural Store page.  The main products I sell are zeolite and soap nuts.

I sell one bottle of zeolite for $15.25 and 12 for $100 (instead of $183 at the “per bottle” price). I sell 1 ounce of soap nuts for $2.50 and four pounds for $52.30 (instead of $160 at the “per ounce” price).

So even though the size of the coconut oil at Costco is the same as the one on Amazon, they sell so many more at Costco that they can offer the coconut oil at a better price.

Carrington's VP said that they sell many full truckloads to Costco weekly–versus 1 case each week at a regular grocery store.

It's the same oil…..just the economy of scale working for Costco members.

PLUS – My Carrington Farms oil (that I bought about 4 months ago) has an expiration date clearly marked on the label – 2/20/15.  That is NOT old oil. And besides, it will likely last long beyond that date.  Coconut oil is known for its stability.

3.  Accusation #3: Carrington Farm's Coconut Oil is not pure.

Sarah said that “Inexpensive Coconut Oil is Likely Poor Quality” and then went on to list the following possibilities  reasons why a coconut oil might be of poor quality, insinuating that Carrington Farms Coconut Oil is either

  • possibly not 100% coconut oil
  • improperly filtered
  • old

All it took was one phone call to Carrington Farms to straighten this out, and that is what I did.  I talked with one of their Vice Presidents who spent a lot of time on the phone with me going over their quality control.  And believe me, they are on top of their coconut oil's quality.

Response: Quality-Related facts about Carrington Farms' coconut oil

1.  Carrington Farms coconut oil is unrefined and no chemicals are used in the processing of the oil.

2.  The coconuts are grown on certified organic farms in the Philippines.

3. Representatives from Carrington have visited the farms to ensure quality of the growing process and a partner in the company visits to ensure that their representatives are doing everything they can to guarantee that everything is as they say it is.

4.  The coconuts are grown on several farms to avoid problems of “single site sourcing”–should there be a natural disaster in one farm, they can still get coconuts.

5.  The coconuts are processed within 4 days of being picked.

6.  The coconut oil is filtered twice before being moved to a bottling facility, and then it is filtered again.

7.  Carrington Farms does third party GC/MS testing on each lot of their oil.  If any other vegetable oil was cut into the coconut oil, it would show up on these tests.

8. The oil is tested for microbes, e-coli, salmonella and more.

9.  Their containers are BPA-free.

10.  Their coconut oil is unrefined, unbleached, and is not deodorized, and their processing is hexane and heat free. I think you can see that they care about quality.

Just because a product is one you haven't heard of, doesn't mean it is junk.  I too wondered about Carrington Farms Coconut Oil when I saw it at Costco.  I bought some and I am very happy with it.  

4.  Accusation #4: Carrington Farms is involved in fraudulent marketing because they label their coconut oil as being “Extra Virgin”

To quote Sarah,

There is no such thing as “extra virgin coconut oil”.  It is either refined coconut oil or virgin coconut oil. A friend of mine who is the owner of a company that is a quality purveyor of virgin coconut oil had this to say: “… any product that uses the term ‘extra virgin’ and it does not pertain to olive oil is using the term outside its definition… Trying to market something that does not exist.”

Response: The truth about “Extra Virgin Coconut Oil”

Well, to be fair, Sarah is right–there is no such thing as Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

But what Sarah should have checked before sharing this post is that the coconut oil that she recommends to her readers has been marketed as “Extra Virgin” too.

In her post, she said “the only way to ensure a quality product is to buy from a quality small business.” Interestingly, the words “buy from a quality small business” are linked to Village Green Network (the blogging network which Sarah is a big part of)'s affiliate portal where you can then click to see what coconut oil (and other products) they recommend.

The problem is that the coconut oil they recommend (Radiant Life) was also marketing themselves as being “Extra Virgin”.  In addition, when you can click around and check out their recommended products, VGN members don't just get paid when you purchase, they get paid per click, so getting click-happy on their Resources page puts a lot of money in their pockets.)

I digress.

Some of Sarah's readers called her on this “Extra Virgin” conundrum. Then Sarah said that she had contacted Radiant Life about it and they were changing their marketing. I don't have anything against Radiant Life, but it is again, poorly researched.

In fact, here is a screen shot I pulled off the internet when I found out about this story, just so you could see that Radiant Life has been, and still is, marketing their oil as being “Extra Virgin.”

If you type in “Radiant Life Coconut Oil” into Google, up comes this description of their coconut oil.  This description is set by Radiant Life when they set up their product for Google: Radiant Life Coconut Oil Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 4.53.42 PMAnd here is an entry on Radiant Life's blog about making your own “Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Lotion

(Update: In case Radiant Life changes their post, here is a screenshot of the top part of the post):

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - Radiant Life

Radiant Life – Advertising how to make “Extra Virgin Coconut Oil” with their “Extra Virgin Coconut Oil”

What Carrington Farms' VP told me is that, while there is no “Extra Virgin” designation for coconut oil, when they started marketing their oil, almost all of the other coconut oil companies in the US were marketing their oil as being “Extra Virgin,” and so they thought it would be both confusing to the customer, plus it would put their coconut oil in a negative light if they only labeled their oil as “Virgin.”

(Please note: The Amazon links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking, I might make a commission, but your price does not change. I thank you oh-so much for your support!)

Click on these links to see that a bunch of companies also market their coconut oil as being “Extra Virgin”:

1.  Garden of Life Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

2.  Nutiva ( Update 5/16: apparently they have changed their labeling)

3.  Nature's Way

4.  Barlean's

5.  Jarrow

6.  Source Naturals (these are capsules, but they are called “Extra Virgin”)

7.  Vitacost

8.  Vitamin Shoppe

9.  Artisana

This list represents a mix between companies known for being inexpensive and those know for high quality.

But the point is that they all use the term “extra virgin” to describe their coconut oil. In fact, I think one is more hard pressed to find a company that doesn't refer to its coconut oil as being “extra virgin” than one that does.

And the Carrington's VP told me that they sell the exact same coconut oil in Canada as “Virgin Coconut Oil” because Canada has laws about coconut oil labeling that the US doesn't have.

Now, let me be clear.  I could have just kept silent on this.

Sarah has a big blog and a lot of influence in the whole foodie blog world. It's not really advisable to write something negative about someone that big. But, I really felt I had to stick up for a company that is being hurt because of this mess.

Just like Sarah wrote about the lessons she thinks should be learned about what type of coconut oil to buy, and where to buy it, I am adding my own set of lessons to be learned here:

1.  Don't go on just one person's word when accusing a company, or someone, of wrongdoing.

Sarah wrote that ” evidence is now emerging that my suspicions [that big box wholesaler brands of coconut oil are junk] have been justified.”

One person's comment without sufficient details (such as lot number, expiration date, whether the container was opened previously or not) is not evidence.  It is just conjecture until the facts are checked out.

And just to put this out there, there are plenty of folks who just do mean things to hurt others.  I am not saying that Mary's or Sarah's intentions are such, but there are people who spread lies in order to hurt others and build themselves up, so we need to be really really careful when putting out negative claims about a person or company.

2.  Do due diligence before making a sweeping accusation. Sarah should have called Carrington to find out their side of the story before publishing something so damaging to their reputation.

3.  Say you're sorry when you are wrong.

What You Can Do to Help

I think that Carrington Farms has really been through the ringer unfairly on this one. I am sure that their sales are hurting and that is just not right. I have a jug of their coconut oil right here and I will say it smells and tastes wonderful.

1.  Go to Costco and buy some Carrington Farms Coconut Oil.

2.  Go to Amazon and buy some Carrington Farms Coconut Oil.

3.  Subscribe to my blog.  I go to great lengths to make sure that I am doing good, solid research on everything that I share with you. It takes time and I am super busy. But I will not try to get you to read my blog by posting stuff that's unnecessarily sensationalist.  It would mean a lot to have your vote of confidence by having you as a subscriber to my blog updates.  And besides–you wouldn't want to miss anything, would you :)?

4.  Share this post (see sharing buttons below) with others so they can find out that Carrington Farms is a decent company with high quality products.

Finally – what about buying local and from small businesses?

That's really a whole other topic.  I love supporting small businesses. But frankly, I can't do it all the time.

I can't do anything all the time–Blog, be a great homeschool mom, keep a clean house, recycle, get the best bargains, be a kind and loving wife.  I need work on all of those things.

Some more than others.

But right now, I buy local when I can. (I just got a flat of organic strawberries from a local farm and I buy eggs from a friend at church. UPDATE:  I was just accused of not supporting local businesses, so I am updating with more information: I just bought 15 local chickens and we have 2 local deer and a local pig in our freezer.  And the most local thing I do is we have a huge garden out back 🙂!)  As for coconut oil?  I am sticking with Tropical Traditions and Carrington, and Nutiva for now.  That doesn't mean there aren't other great companies. But a gal can only do so much research at once–and right now I am off to find a new brand of stevia :).

For more “controversial topics” that might interest you, check out:

1.  The FDA Says, “Probiotics are Dangerous? Arsenic is Safe

2.  Is There Engine Fuel on Your Almonds? – A must read.

3.  Which Essential Oils Company is Best? – you will see here that I did a TON of research into oils and oil companies. And I was very clear about my limitations and why I made the conclusions that I made.  And if I ever find something negative out about the company that I recommended, I will pull my recommendation. Plain and simple.

Photo Credit:

Please leave questions or comments below.  But please be respectful. Thank you.

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Natural products will usually spoil faster than processed ones. The bacteria responsible for spoilage, they prefer them for much the same reasons that we do. Because they’re more nutritious, and consequently, tastier. When certain things resist spoiling, that’s when I get suspicious. When I see fresh fruit with a little mold on it, I know that that piece will taste the best (after I remove the moldy bit). We have a wide variety of artificial preservative additives and other preservation methods which are recent industrial innovations, and which are not healthy. If it has been around for a few centuries, then it might be good. Good preservation includes salt, vinegar (pickling), drying, smoking, CONTROLLED use of microbes, and more. We use bacteria and fungus for making things like cheese, sausage (for preserving), yogurt and bread.

    Why should I eat something that is so heavily processed that even bacteria won’t touch it? So what if your coconut oil goes bad, and another one doesn’t. So what, if your whole milk goes bad, when the non-fat doesn’t. Microbes want to eat too. Going bad is rarely a sign of poor quality, usually just poor handling. If you put your natural coconut oil in a 100+ degree shed in Texas for months and it goes bad, and you think that’s cause to complain about the manufacturer, I think you’re… uninformed at best. Next time, put it in a dry, cool, dark place like the damn label said, seal it up tight, and don’t put anything in it but clean utensils. And I understand, that many of us don’t have such a consistent place. But really, the label is only recommending a maximum tolerance, that’s it. What do you do if your climate doesn’t allow such a nice pantry? Take it up a step and put it in the refrigerator. This is not difficult. If you don’t have a fridge in the first world, stop buying premium coconut oil and get a fridge. Either way, it helps to avoid contamination (only clean utensils, not fingers or stuff you’ve licked, cover the container while you’re using it, rest the lid on top) and to seal it up tight when you store it. Closing it properly will both avoid a lesser source of contamination, and perhaps more importantly it will keep dry air from stealing away precious aromatic compounds, which applies for everything that can hold moisture. Dry air can be from climate, from daily cycles, or from the refrigerator.

    If you have this much trouble understanding what spoilage is, what is responsible, and how to prevent it, then you might notice you have issues with a hell of a lot more than just coconut oil. Do you leave your milk, meat, eggs and vegetables in your 100+ degree Texas shed? Do you think you’d find similar issues if you did? Forget food, if you’ve lived in a hot desert for more than a year then you should already understand that the elements destroy EVERYTHING. Every man-made creation and substance I can think of, is going to have a pretty short life in that kind of climate, including fossil-derived things like plastic, rubber, asphalt, cement, vinyl siding, roof tiles, car paint, treated wood as in power poles, even metal can break from the constant thermal stress….

    • This is directed at the Sarah person, the subject of the article, not the author. The original question was whether someone should cook with coconut oil that was grossly mishandled and spoiled, that’s it, it didn’t even call the manufacturer into question. Sarah may have made valid points, but they had nothing to do with the original question, and they were targeted inappropriately and without any form of evidence against a single brand instead of being general advice about what to avoid. That’s what’s wrong here. The brand sounds respectable to me, and it’s sad that people like Sarah can so easily point a finger and hurt the wrong company.

  2. I have to say that I have been very happy with Carrington Coconut oil, however don’t have that option at Costco in DC area anymore. They only have Kirkland Brand and I feel it isn’t the same quality as the Carrington.

  3. I just want to say that Coconut oil at COTSCO is one of the best oils I had used ever, also great quality and price. Of course I wouldn’t keep it at my garage!!! Thanks

  4. My friend works for costo and she brought me a massive tub of Carrington coconut oil. I was delighted because it was massive and free:)
    However, i gradually noticed that it was not the best quality. I use it for lots of things including eating it and oil pulling. If you have tried other organic virgin coconut oils you would instantly know the costco one isnt pure. The taste is ENORMOUSLY different. Try lucy bee for example and make up your own mind. I wouldnt go for costco (even for free).

    • Hi Mimi. Sorry you feel that way. Did you see the statement of their purity in the comments? I personally think their coconut oil is amazing. Tastes similar to Nutiva’s to me and I really like that one as well. I’ll take Costco any day and free? you betcha.

  5. Today we went to Costco here in Tampa Fla. and the Carrington coconut Oil is no longer. Today it was Kirkland Oil and has a slight peach tint and I’m afraid to open it. How can we prove if there are GMO’s and additives to keep it on the shelf longer

  6. Kate Campbell-Lloyd says:

    Adrienne, please forgive me for calling you Sarah…..and again thanks for you concerted research….I now have much more of an idea about coconut products and when I go to Costco’s for the very first time in my life I will check out if they have Carringtons or not. I saw in your comments that Nutiva must have changed their marketing strategy by not using the term EXTRA so no need to waste time returning a requested comment. I am much better informed & hope that I don’t get alzeimers and can loose weight too! I do give credit to Western A Price Foundation’s president Sally Fallen and Mary Enig for their research into coconut and particularly hexane and how I kept ending up in hospital not realizing what was making me so ill! My dangerous fear of any oil in my diet after a gall bladder op has allowed me to use coconut in my diet. Yipee! Again my thanks xo

  7. Kate Campbell-Lloyd says:

    Sarah…I have been following you and your story (is costcos c’cnut oil junk) about Carrington’s coconut oil. My son has chosen NUTIVA because he prefers no smell coconut oil and prefers to cook at the higher temperature & appreciates Fair Trade and giving back to the farmers etc. I looked and looked at the Nutiva link that you gave us under the understanding that they marketed as ‘extra virgin’…..from my research I couldn’t see this term Extra Virgin on their containers…can you clarify for me please? I agree with you that truth is of the ultimate importance and research essential. I live in far north Qld in Australia and after 2 cyclones like Katrina a group of people decided that our coconut trees were aliens and have continued to pull them down until this 2016. We have a traditional man @ so I am fortunate to be able to use his! Thank you for your dedication & blog. I am glad I found you! I look forward to hearing from you. kind regards Kate

  8. Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful post about this topic. I found it very helpful.

  9. I love the scent and consistency of the Costco product for cosmetic uses but cannot stomach the taste at all, even in very small amounts, having tried it in baked goods, frostings, etc. Is there an additive that would neutralize the unpleasant almost plastic, noxious taste of this product? Seems unlikely that something is wrong with my batch itself when its scent is so pleasant…

  10. I just came across the carington farms oil and found your site when searching their quality. Im having trouble making true heads or tails of some stuff. Can you tell me how cartington farms oil relates to tropical traditions? I’ve been using tropical traditions gold label for a while, but saving some cash would be great for this single income family. We view coconut oil as a super food so quality does matter. Thank you for your time.

    • They have no relation. I really like Carrington for taste and smell – do you have it available nearby? I would buy it. I love it and can’t get it easily now.

  11. The extent of your research was talking to a vp whose job rides on selling the stuff? Cmon we gotta do better than that. You did the exact same thing as the blog you criticized: you made a bunch of claims (in this case counter claims) and then backed them up with completely unverified information.
    One thing that really bothered me is how you accepted their explanation of selling it to Costco by the thousands. I’m just guessing but I bet they sell more on Amazon, yet the price is still significantly higher. Their volume/cost bit smells like that rancid jar of oil she wrote about. Nutiva is a huge supplier of coconut oil yet why aren’t they able to compete with this magical price?
    She was only raising questions, which is all you’ve done.
    Though I love your shop local mindset and the fact that you homeschool! Sorry for long-winded comment

    • Hello Kevin. Can you tell me what other research you would like me to do? I think I did a lot more than the other blogger who didn’t contact the company at all and made spurious claims about their labeling practices without noticing that the companies she promotes did the same thing.

      I have done more digging with the company and can give you the following. Yes, it is from the manufacturer, so if you won’t take this for what it is I can see what else I can come up with. I don’t expect that the company sold more on Amazon than at Costco, but now that Costco has put their Kirkland brand in most of the stores it would be more possible that you are correct. My understanding is that Costco’s Nutiva price is super low as well.

      I have attached a gas chromatography report showing how we prove that we don’t mix our pure unrefined coconut oil with any other oils. In addition, all of our processors and bottling facilities are SQF Level II certified. One of the requirements of this level of manufacturing certification is that they all will not process anything unless a certificate of analysis accompanies the oil and the lot numbers match up. This also proves what we are buying, packing and selling is exactly what we are claiming.

      I suppose if need be I can try to get a copy of the oil test from the time of the accusation. However, I hope this assures you that they are not selling junk. (just updated this comment as I was able to get the whole image here rather than copying and pasting it)

      I’m attaching a link to the image of the report. I might just add it to the post as well. Coconut Oil Report

      • Adrienne,

        You say that the report is from the manufacturer but it says Omega Protein on the report. Which manufacturer exactly sent you this report? I can’t tell if the analysis is for Nutiva, Carrington or what. Thanks.

        • Hello there. I was told that Omega Protein did the testing and that it was for Carrington and has the lot # on it. They are working on getting me a better copy to share – thanks for asking and for reading!

  12. I’m a LMT with 20 years of experience providing quality massage services. I’ve switched over to using coconut oil in my sessions after doing extensive research on both the external and internal health benefits of using coconut oil.

    I’m also a cook that uses coconut oil in everything from my deep fryer to baking, and a table spoon in my daily post work out shake.

    I attempt to inform anyone that will listen about the many health benefits of using coconut oil. I use Carrington Farms coconut oil from Costco and nerve had a problem with its quality.

    Thanks for a very informative post.

  13. I just read your article on coconut oil and clicked on the links for Nutiva on Amazon which shows virgin and not extra virgin; clicked on Carrington which shows extra virgin?

    Is there a mix-up?

  14. Are you able to tell us more about the Kirkland brand? Thanks!

  15. Thanks for this post. I’ve see the Carrington Farms coconut oil in Costco and wondered if it was any good. Thank you for doing the research!

  16. Well-researched, well-presented, and thoughtful article. Thank you for being a good consumer, and sharing your information

  17. Great post!! I recently joined the coconut oil craze this past summer. Carrington Farms was my first purchase (because of the cost). I go through it quickly because I use it daily for so many things. I have since tried other brands but I keep coming back to Carrington because I find their quality to be the best! It was interesting to see all of the supporting facts. Thank you!

  18. Good on you Adrienne for writing this post. I was put off by the presumptuousness and ignorance of Sarah’s post on coconut oil, so much so that I decided to reach out to her. What I received from Sarah were the condescending responses of “LOL. From your email, you obviously did not even read the post.” And in her second response, “Still LOL. Again, obviously you completely miss the point…”

    Let’s see if my comments here, most of which I wrote to her, miss the point.

    The following are among Sarah’s claims. Costco coconut oil is gross, cheap, improperly filtered, of poor quality, and being old and not fresh. And she claims that the way to go is by buying coconut oil from small manufacturers. She claims that “Just like with extra virgin olive oil, the only way to ensure a quality product is to buy from a quality small business, not a big box retailer.”

    Knowing a thing or two about coconut oil and Asia, my head about exploded upon reading her post. There are so many things wrong with what she claimed that I didn’t know where to begin when I contacted her.

    First of all, given Costco’s size, they are able to turn their products over more quickly than small resellers. That is important considering MOQ of better coconut oils is often 20 tons. Secondly, larger manufacturers of coconut oil have order backlogs of 1 to 2 months. Smaller manufacturers are often begging for business and usually don’t have a backlog. Furthermore, in Asia, old products aren’t usually discarded but sold as fresh. So the order backlog ensures at least freshly pressed oil, not necessarily fresh coconuts.

    Also, Costco’s low prices have more to do with lower margins, high volume and an efficiently run business than low quality products. I hate saying this because I’m not a big business supporter, but it’s nonetheless true.

    Food quality in Asia isn’t the highest in the world by any means. Having met with about ten food (and worked with a few) manufacturers in Southeast Asia, there is definitely a positive correlation between size of business and competence. I was absolutely shocked beyond belief at how incompetent some small food manufacturers were. The larger ones were at least competent within their domain. So, all else equal, in Asia a larger book of business equates to a higher quality product. Furthermore, in Asia cost is king with both small and large businesses. Quality isn’t much of a consideration as Asian consumers care mostly about price and often cannot tell the difference between high and low quality products. Thus, there aren’t many craft or small businesses that focus on producing high quality products to high-end buyers like in the US and Europe, so saying “Just like with extra virgin olive oil, the only way to ensure a quality product is to buy from a quality small business, not a big box retailer” is about as clever and accurate as saying Southeast Asia is just like Italy. It’s quite clear Sarah doesn’t really know what she’s talking about on the conversation of coconut oil: the industry, the product or the manufacturers.

    And yes, there is no difference between VCO and EVCO. Since when does trying to market your product so that is seems more appealing to consumers actually mean it’s inferior.

    What’s also funny is that what people regard as the best-tasting coconut oils come from the very largest couple manufacturers, which are sold among a dozen or more brands. In terms of taste, the notion that smaller is better couldn’t be more wrong.

    • Wow. What a fascinating, fact filled comment. Thank you. May I ask what you did that you had that type of interaction in Asia? Thanks again! I would be interested in getting more information and adding it to the post if you are open to that.

      • Unfortunately, I’m not really at liberty to say much at the moment, but I’d be happy to answer other more general questions you may have. And thank you for creating a space to help stem the spread of misinformation.

    • Sinkply put, I should be obliged if someone, who knows, would care to clarify if Costco Kirkland Signature item no. 787198 UDSA ORGANIC COCONUT OIL is a quality product.

      Thanks in anticipation.

      • This is the Kirkland brand that has replaced Carrington. The rumor is that it is still a Carrington product rebranded as Kirkland but no one really knows. I spoke with an assistant manager at my local Costco and he said “My wife wants to know too! I don’t know I tried asking but no confirmation”.

        Perhaps Adrianne who have purchased and presumably familiar with Carrington’s CO (in taste, form, color, performance, smell, etc.) can buy the Kirkland brand CO and write up a review?

        • Hi there. It for sure isn’t Carrington. It smells totally different and Carrington is very disappointed that many Costcos aren’t carrying their products any more. I should look at the coconut oil, however. I’ve got too much going on :).

          • I contacted Nutiva and asked them if the Kirkland was their product and they said it is not.
            So sad that Nutiva is no longer available at Costco and can’t figure out anymore about the Kirkland one.

          • Did you ask them questions about the Kirkland product?

          • Yes, this is what Nutiva email response to me said –

            The 78 oz coconut oil was a custom size that we made just for Costco. Unfortunately Costco has discontinued many of our products and has brought in their own Kirkland Signature brand to replace them, which is not our oil. Since Costco is a wholesale buying club they purchased the coconut oil from us at distribution prices and sold them in small quantities at wholesale prices. So, you’re not going to be able to get a similar price on it. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.

            And when I contacted Costco about who the supplier of their Kirkland Coconut Oil is, they told me they couldn’t tell me that.

          • Interesting. I might try to contact them. They couldn’t give you any info on the oil at all? Thanks!

  19. How much is the 54 ounce at Costco? Same price at all Costco’s? Don’t think they carry it at the Costco’s in California? How does the taste of the Carrington compare to the Kirkland brand or the Nutiva?

    • I don’t know how much it is…I have no idea if it’s the same in every location but I would suspect not. I think the Nutiva and Carrington are very similar in taste and that they are better tasting then the Kirkland. That’s just my opinion, however.

  20. I’m in the grocery store right now and I examined a bottle of Carrington Farms coconut cooking oil. The temperature in the store is a cool 68 degrees but the bottle of oil is a non-viscous liquid. Real coconut oil starts to solidify at 76 degrees, so whatever is in the bottle is not coconut oil.
    In any oil the polyunsaturated fatty acids are primarily responsible for any rancid it since they are the most chemically reactive. Real coconut oil contains only two percent polyunsaturated fatty acids so the shelf life is extremely long.

    The fact that the bottle I saw was a non-viscous liquid is consistent with either mono- or polyunsaturated fats, and not with real coconut oil.

    I suggest you have your Carrington Farms Coconut cooking oil chemically analyzed, rather than depending on the word of the company that sells the product.

    BTW, the Carrington Farms bottle was sitting alongside other brands of coconut oil, all of which were a white solid.

    • Hello Ed. Thanks for your comment.

      Carrington Farms Coconut Cooking Oil is supposed to remain liquid at room temperature. It is coconut oil with added medium chain triglycerides and with many of the long chain triglycerides removed. They use a non chemical process to get it to the liquid state.

      If you would like more specific information about what you saw you can get the UPC and location for me and I am happy to do whatever you like to find more information. Thanks again.

      • It is coconut oil with added medium chain triglycerides and with many of the long chain triglycerides removed. They use a non chemical process to get it to the liquid state.

        Hi Adrienne,
        Carrington oil is cold press? What is the purpose of adding triglycerides in the first place and removing some of long triglycerides. Why are they changing the natural chemical bonds?

        • Hello Emma.

          Here is the response from the company:

          We only alter the liquid coconut cooking oil to that it will remain liquid. The regular organic VCO is cold pressed and filtered. That is all that is done to it.