Costco's Best Selling Item Isn't What You'd Expect

You can buy quite a few odd items at your local mega-retailer Costco. While you can purchase a plastic bucket of macaroni and cheese that serves 180, a $900 full wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano, or a 4-foot tall wine glass, it seems unlikely that the Kirkland-brand retailer moves any of the aforementioned items in any notable quantity. It is worth noting, though, that even ginormous buckets of mac and cheese are popular when Costco is slinging them, and when the product debuted in 2019 it promptly sold out (via ABC News).

While we figure that just about everything being sold at the warehouse store is a popular buy, guessing Costco's five best-selling items is about as unlikely as being to finish a 4-foot tall glass of wine without passing out, as some of them are also rather unlikely.

Costco's fifth best-selling product isn't even in the store

Costco's fifth-most popular item can't actually be found inside the store at all, but rather out in the parking lot. Costco sells quite a bit of gas, and like much of its stock, this product is a good deal cheaper than what competitors offer. On average, gasoline at Costco is 30 cents less per gallon than other fill-up stations (via Fox Business).

You can find Costco's fourth-most popular item in the food court: hot dogs. The retailer has been selling this classic American fare for more than 30 years, and hasn't changed the price of the hot dog and soda combination since 1985; it's still $1.50. As a result, Costco sells around 100 million hot dogs annually. Okay, so this one might not be so hard to believe... can you go to Costco without hitting the food court for a dog on your way out?

Costco sells more than a billion pieces of its best-selling item

Another meat product which Costco sells a good deal of is their Kirkland Signature bacon, which comes in third on the list. It's smoked over hickory and is sold in four 1-pound packs at a price that beats most competitors.

Their rotisserie chickens are so popular, and they come in second — perhaps because Costco hasn't changed the price since the chicken's introduction in 2009. As a result, Costco is reported to lose somewhere between $30 and $40 million annually on this dinner favorite, but you can bet they're making up the difference by the time you get to checkout. 

But, drum roll please, the top best-selling item at Costco is toilet paper, of which the company sells more than a billion rolls annually (via Reader's Digest). Kirkland toilet paper costs just half as much as the products sold by competitors, but still brings in around $400 million for Costco every year. They take their toilet paper so seriously, the retailer employs a team of engineers to work on, and test the product.