It's far from uncommon for a brand-new product at Costco to generate some buzz. But one of the latest new items to hit the warehouse club's shelves has been garnering more fanfare than most.
Last November, Costco launched new frozen Kirkland Signature Breakfast Sandwiches with egg, cheese, and bacon on a croissant bun. The sandwiches became an instant hit, with shoppers calling them "incredible," "awesome," and their "favorite" breakfast sandwich of all time.
However, one of the most interesting takeaways Costco shoppers had about the new sandwiches was that they look and taste very similar to Starbucks' Double Smoked Bacon, Egg, & Cheddar Sandwich. In fact, one member has even declared that they taste "exactly the same."
The comparison does make sense considering that the Starbucks sandwich also features a spiral croissant bun with the same fillings. So, to find out whether the Kirkland sandwich is a bonafide dupe for the Starbucks sandwich, I recently pitted the two offerings in in a head-to-head tasting showdown.
Going into this taste test, I knew that trying the two different sandwiches side-by-side was very important since many Costco shoppers think they're practically identical. I picked up one of the Starbucks sandwiches one recent morning and took it home to compare with the Kirkland version, which I had grabbed during a recent Costco trip.
The Kirkland box only provides heating instructions for the microwave and air fryer. Since I don't own one of the latter, I went the microwave route. I then tasted both sandwiches and compared their texture, quality, and overall flavor.
Read on for my thoughts on each sandwich, followed by my verdict on how the two compare!
Starbucks' Double-Smoked Bacon, Cheddar & Egg Sandwich features bacon smoked for six hours over hickory chips, a cage-free fried egg, and a slice of melted sharp cheddar on a croissant bun. The sandwich cost me $6.13.
The look: Slightly squashed and messily assembled, but still pretty tempting. The sandwich was warm, melty, and came with a pretty decent portion of bacon. I also appreciated the slightly glossy, golden brown color on the croissant bun.
The taste: The flavor of this sandwich was pretty impressive. The croissant bun was buttery and slightly sweet. The cheddar was sharp and savory. And the bacon was smoky, salty, and a great complement to all of the other elements. However, I was pretty let down by the textures in the sandwich. While I enjoyed the taste of the croissant bun well enough, it didn't have that flaky, crispy quality you'll find in a good croissant. The bacon was also very floppy, while the egg had a mealy texture. This is still a pretty a pretty tasty fast-food breakfast sandwich overall, but it's far from perfect.
The Kirkland Signature Breakfast Sandwich features applewood-smoked bacon, a cage-free egg, and cheddar cheese on a spiral butter croissant. A pack of eight frozen sandwiches cost me $15.99. That breaks down to about $2 per sandwich, which is a fraction of what I paid for the Starbucks version.
The look: The Kirkland sandwich was a dead ringer for what was advertised on the Kirkland box, which you don't always see with frozen foods. This croissant bun was taller and lighter in color than Starbucks' croissant bun. The bacon was also thinner and there wasn't as much of it. Otherwise, this looked pretty darn close to the Starbucks version.
The taste: I had pretty mixed opinions on this option. On the positive side, the spiral croissant had an enjoyable buttery flavor, the bacon tasted smoky and savory, and the egg didn't have the unpleasant mealy texture that I detected with the Starbucks sandwich. On the downside, the croissant wasn't flaky at all and was tougher to bite through than the Starbucks croissant. The bacon was also way too thin, not crispy at all, and there wasn't enough of it for the flavor to really shine through. I tasted the croissant more than anything, which isn't what I want with a bacon breakfast sandwich.
I set out to determine whether the new Kirkland Signature Breakfast Sandwich is a true match for Starbucks' Double-Smoked Bacon, Cheddar & Egg Sandwich—and the answer to that question is no. The two are very similar, but there was one key difference: the bacon.
Starbucks' bacon is thicker, more flavorful, and more plentiful. It's the strongest flavor in the whole sandwich and pairs well with the egg, cheese, and croissant. Because the bacon on the Kirkland sandwich is thinner and not as plentiful, the flavor falls a little flat in comparison.
But, even though the Kirkland bacon didn't live up to the Starbucks bacon, everything else was pretty darn close, from the bun to the cheese. At $2 a pop, the Kirkland sandwiches are also a steal in comparison to the $6.13 Starbucks sandwiches. If I regularly ordered Starbucks' Double-Smoked Bacon Sandwich, I'd switch over to the Kirkland version just for the discount.