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I tried store-brand peanut butter from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Wegmans. My kids couldn’t get enough of the winner.

Jars of peanut butter on a white-marble counter. There is a jar of Trader Joe's peanut butter, a two-pack of Kirkland Signature peanut butter, a jar of Wegmans peanut butter, and a jar of 365 peanut butterI tried four brands of peanut butter from Trader Joe’s, Costco, Wegmans, and Whole Foods.

Ted Berg

  • My family tried peanut butter from four different grocery stores and ranked them from worst to best.
  • I thought the 365 brand was oddly greasy and too messy to spread.
  • The Kirkland Signature organic creamy peanut butter had a great flavor, and my kids loved it.

My family goes through a lot of peanut butter — my kids, ages 6 and 3, routinely eat the spread in sandwiches and snacks.

There are tons of options out there since the peanut-butter industry is worth billions, and the average American is said to eat multiple pounds of the stuff a year.

Although big-name peanut butter brands are great, I wondered if I might be missing out on supermarket-brand versions, which are often a decent value.

So, I bought creamy peanut butter from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, and Costco and tried each with an apple slice and a cracker.

Here’s how I’d rank each spread, from worst to best.

I started my comparison with the 365 unsweetened creamy peanut butter from Whole Foods.A jar of peanut butter with a white label with illustrations of peanuts and leaves  with a red lidI could see peanut grain through the 365-brand jar.

Ted Berg

When I opened the jar of peanut butter from Whole Foods, I immediately noticed there was a ton of oil settled at the top. Although this was the case with almost all the peanut-butter options I tried, the 365 brand seemed to have the most.

I stirred the oil in as best as possible, but the entire jar was still liquidy, with little coagulated lumps of peanut grain mixed in.

In hindsight, this peanut butter also looked a bit odd in its container. I could see that dark peanut matter had settled in layers and wasn’t uniformly spread throughout the jar.

I wasn’t a fan of the 365 peanut butter.A jar of peanut butter with a white label and red lid next to a white plate of crackers and apple slices. A slightly chunky-looking peanut butter is spread on one crackerI couldn’t get behind the texture of the 365 peanut butter.

Ted Berg

This was the first peanut butter I’ve ever had that I’d call “greasy.” It was even too messy for my 6-year-old, who had difficulty spreading it on crackers.

It tasted like an average peanut butter, but its texture threw me off. Whole Foods also stocks other brands of peanut butter, so I’d try one of those before I’d buy this again.

Trader Joe’s creamy salted peanut butter was made with a unique ingredient.A jar of peanut butter with an orange label depicting illustrations of peanuts with a white lidTrader Joe’s creamy salted peanut butter was made with unblanched nuts.

Ted Berg

My local Trader Joe’s had various peanut-butter options, but I chose the most basic salted, creamy version.

This spread was made with unblanched nuts, which means the peanut skins were left on during processing. It had a darker hue than the other brands of peanut butter I tried, which was appealing to me.

I thought Trader Joe’s peanut butter was a little too salty.A jar of peanut butter with an orange label and white lid sits next to a plate of apple slices and crackers. Creamy-looking peanut butter is spread on one apple sliceI wished Trader Joe’s peanut butter was less salty.

Ted Berg

The oil on top of this peanut butter mixed in easily and transformed the spread into a rich, velvety mixture.

It had a good flavor but was a little too salty for me. My kids didn’t seem to mind the taste, though they were much more enthusiastic about the winning option.

I’d probably buy it again if I was at Trader Joe’s and needed peanut butter.

Wegmans’ creamy peanut butter was the most convenient option because it didn’t need to be stirred.A jar of peanut butter with a bright-orange and red label with a red lidWegmans’ creamy peanut butter was mess-free.

Ted Berg

I was a little overwhelmed by Wegmans’ selection, so I went with what I decided to be the most straightforward option: creamy peanut butter. This was the only no-stir peanut butter I tried, so it was also the most convenient and mess-free choice.

Even though this peanut butter had added sugar, the calorie count was on par with the others. It contained 180 calories per 2-tablespoon serving, the same as the Kirkland Signature brand, and a hair less than the 190-calorie 365 and Trader Joe’s versions.

I appreciated how easy it was to spread Wegmans’ creamy peanut butter.A jar of peanut butter with an orange and red label sits next to a plate of apple slices and crackers. Thick-looking peanut butter is spread on one crackerI spread Wegmans’ creamy peanut butter on a cracker.

Ted Berg

Wegmans’ peanut butter was tasty and notably denser than the others I tried.

Its texture reminded me of Jif peanut butter because it was thick and a little less creamy than I prefer. Still, it was good, and my kids appreciated its spreadability.

Finally, I tasted the Kirkland Signature organic creamy peanut butter.A large jar of peanut butter with a red and brown label and a red lidThe Kirkland Signature organic creamy peanut butter came in the largest portion size.

Ted Berg

The Kirkland Signature organic creamy peanut butter came in a pack of two 28-ounce containers. This much peanut butter would take a while to consume, so it definitely requires some commitment on the buyer’s part.

This peanut butter was my family’s favorite option. A jar of peanut butter with a brown and red label sits next to a white plate of crackers and apple slices. Creamy-looking peanut butter drips down an apple slice on the plateWe loved the Kirkland Signature peanut butter’s flavor and texture.

Ted Berg

This peanut butter was creamy, not too salty, and flavorful, with a pleasant touch of graininess. My 6-year-old gave it two thumbs up, and my 3-year-old singled it out for the next day’s after-school snack.

It was tasty enough for a sandwich but would work in various recipes due to its unsweetened flavor. My local Costco usually stocks Skippy, but if I ever need an alternative, I’ll know the Kirkland Signature brand is a reliable backup.

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