Monday, May 9, 2011

Grocery Find - Strawberry preserves PSA

A couple of years ago I found some very tasty strawberry preserves at Costco.  It was Smucker's Special Recipe strawberry preserves.  I like preserves as opposed to jam or jelly because the fruit remains in larger pieces.  What reeled me in on this particular jar was the note on the label "more fruit", and indeed strawberries  came before sugar in the ingredient list.

I wasn't eating a lot of preserves at the time so it stayed in the pantry for some time before I opened it.  When I finally did, it was very good.  It had a strong strawberry flavor and the larger chunks gave it the texture that is missing in jelly.  Unfortunately it was so good we finished it quickly.  When I went to buy more, it was nowhere to be found.  Only the unappetizing-sounding Kirkland organic strawberry spread was at Costco.

A search on the Smucker's website made no reference to it or any other "Special Recipe" version of their preserves so that was clearly cause for concern.  In addition none of their current offerings had the same ingredient list as the special recipe version, sugar (or some variant) was always the first ingredient.

With ingredient list and nutritional information in my hand I made a second trip to the always crowded Costco.    I was heartened to find with a glance at the Kirkland "spread" that the ingredients and nutritional information were identical to the Smucker's.  Admittedly I don't like the spread aspect of it, but the ingredients are the important thing.

Using a Google search I was not able to find anything regarding the sameness of these two products.  So this is my PSA for people looking for Smucker's Special Recipe Strawberry Preserves.  Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberry Spread has the same ingredient order and nutritional information as the Smucker's.

So there you go Internets, load up your Google machines!

or, if you prefer, here's the CBS Cares (or maybe CB Scares) testicular cancer guy in his romantic bedroom:


  1. I agree, the Costco Smuckers special recipe strawberry preserves are amazing! Knowing Costco, I was certain they would stop carrying the product once I became loyal to it, so I actually stocked up on several sets of these preserves last year - they came in packs of two. Btw, I also tried the Kirkland strawberry preserves and they tasted awful! There has to be a happy medium between taste and healthy ingredients and the Smuckers preserves definitely found it. I believe the main reasons that they taste so great are because they have real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup and of course, and real strawberries instead of fruit pulp.
    Today, I called up Smuckers customer service today to inquire about the preserves that I had been buying from Costco. I was told that this was a special recipe just for Costco and that it was not sold in regular grocery stores. I was also told that though Costco might have temporarily stopped carrying them, I should keep on re-checking as they would be re-stocked sooner or later.
    I also inquired if Smuckers sold a comparable product in grocery stores and I was told to check out Smuckers Orchards Finest Preserves. They are sold in Safeway and Nob Hill. These preserves are also made with sugar and not high fructose corn syrup. Keeping my fingers crossed that I have found the next best preserve....

  2. Another bit of note i see these at Costco mainly early in the year.

  3. Just a heads up for those of you looking at labels and making comparisons, the key difference between the Smucker's Special Recipe Preserves and the Kirkland Signature Organic Spreads is other than Organic is Preserve vs Spread.
    A preserve by legal definition is a 65 brix product. Brix is the measurement of sweetness,(for reference pure sugar is 100 brix and water is 0 brix).
    A preserve at 65 brix is about 51% fruit.
    The Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberry Spread is a 50 Brix product with 65% fruit so the Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberry has more fruit and less sugar than the Smucker's Special Recipe.
    While looking at the ingredients on the label, go a little deeper into the Nutrition Facts and take note of differences in the following per serving: Calories: Smucker's 50 vs Kirkland Signature 40, Carbohydrates: Smucker's 13g vs Kirkland Signature 9g and Sugars: Smucker's 12g vs Kirkland Signature 8g.

    The Kirkland Signature Organic Spread is clearly a far superior product, has more fruit and less sugar per serving then throw in that its Organic and made with fresh never frozen fruit unlike anyone else's product (other than Grandma).
    There is really no comparison.
    I guess it all depends on what you want to feed your family !