So you want to buy a new freezer and you’re thinking about a Criterion freezer, upright freezer, or chest freezer but before you do you want to know who makes Criterion freezers for Menards? It is important to know about the manufacturer and the brand before buying from them as you can get a much better idea of the likely performance and quality of the product. In this article, we dig deep to reveal the info you want.

Our research team has uncovered the following secret; some Kenmore models are identical to some Criterion products... Clue 1! (do they share the same manufacturer(s) as Kenmore?)
This leaves us with a question, are Criterion actually unique products, or are they white-labeled products that are primarily made and sold under another brand? Because in that case, Whirlpool is the manufacturer behind the Kenmore brand!

So could Kenmore be behind the entire range of Criterion appliances? Read on to find out more about the team’s findings!

Who is the Criterion Freezer Manufacturer then?

The manufacturer of Criterion freezers has been playing hide and seek with the question of who makes Criterion appliances and refrigerators for Menards for a long time. Just look at some of the junk articles online that give actually no useful information to answer the question. Well, that stops here with!

Let the deep dive begin!

So Who Makes Criterion Refrigerators for Menards?

Just who makes Criterion refrigerators was not an easy one to figure out (spoiler: but we have!). The company chooses not to disclose its source’s names or the places of manufacture. 

Nevertheless, we have a good few sources who have confirmed that in addition to some Criterion appliances being identical to Kenmore ones (Kenmore is a whirlpool brand) we have confirmed many Criterion under-counter freezers and refrigerators are indeed on close inspection identical to Kenmore ones.

Is Criterion a White Label Brand?

It is our opinion therefore that Criterion is a white-label brand that is produced for them by a larger well established manufacturer or their sources, like, er, maybe, possibly Kenmore… which is a Whirlpool brand. Kenmore is known to use Amana, Frigidaire, GE, Jenn-Air, LG, and Whirlpool themselves for their product range.
After all, using other manufacturers to white label a company’s white goods is a great idea? It allows them to offer a larger product range, bring innovations to the market that others have put the hard yards into and save costs on having to try and manage an infinite number of product lines.

Where are Criterion Freezers Made? (readers views)

To further our research we have more information that came direct from some Criterion users and some of our readers. 

According to some informed readers, they are mainly manufactured in the US and their headquarters also reside within the US. That would tie in with the fact that Whirlpool is Based in Benton Charter Township, Michigan, with major manufacturing centers throughout North America. Whirlpool employs tens of thousands of Americans in their company.

However, some disagreed with that and claimed Criterion is supplied by a Chinese company. They said Criterion has several manufacturers from China and then Menards imports them to various countries. This could also be plausible because of the high likelihood that Criterion is using the large brands above as white label suppliers but if that is the case it is alongside using US manufacturers.

One savvy reader deems Midea to be one of the makers of Criterion freezers as Midea and Criterion freezers both come with similar model numbers. This is also quite possible because Midea is (or was) known as a large OEM (original equipment manufacturer) that supply (or have supplied) some huge brands including GE and Whirlpool. This theory was confirmed in 2015 by Kim Freeman, manager of global public relations for GE Appliances that Midea was a GE Appliances supplier.

To add to the confusion, one Criterion freezer owner has already confirmed to us that his freezer’s manufacturer’s tag states that the freezer was made in Mexico and not in the US or China. We can’t add much to this information except it lends weight to the theory that a very diverse supply chain could be in use here.

In what Locations are Criterion Freezers and Fridges Made?

Whirlpool has 9 manufacturing facilities in the U.S.A, including clothes washers (Clyde, OH), compact and chest freezers (Ottawa, OH), dishwashers (Findlay, OH), slide-in and freestanding ranges (Tulsa, OK), refrigerators (Amana, IA), and KitchenAid stand mixers (Greenville, OH). We know for a fact that some Kenmore appliances (made by Whirlpool) are made in the USA, but other Kenmore products are made by Amana, Frigidaire, GE, Jenn-Air and LG which would add weight to the theory that appliances could literally be coming in from all over the world to Kenmore and potentially Criterion as well.

About Menards

Menards is the owner of the Criterion freezers brand and the biggest retailer of Criterion. Menards also sells pet products, lawn and garden supplies, electronics, brand merchandise, tools, and materials for home improvement needs. 

Menards is known for its incredible customer service, alongside its freezers and other white goods. They have a very wide selection of products in the majority of their stores. We have found Criterion freezers to have solid reviews online and the probable fact that they are using well-established manufacturers is likely to be behind this finding.

Menards has grown so much that it has become the third-largest home improvement chain behind Home Depot and Lowe’s in the USA.

Menards has more than 300 stores in 15 states. They claim that they handpick manufacturers that produce Criterion appliances and make sure the quality meets their highest standards. The headquarters of Menards is in Eau Claire, Wisconsin but they also have other branches in Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and more.

Is the Criterion Freezer Good Quality?

Criterion has home appliances such as freezers, refrigerators, microwave ovens, and more. It is an exclusive brand that provides high-quality freezers with outstanding performance at a sensible price. 

Criterion freezers are a great option for storing your food and as expected they should keep your food frost-free and fresh for a long time. Depending on the model they also have ample space for sufficient food and are a well thought out product. 

Alongside this, they are known to be an energy-efficient product which would tie in with the likelihood of them being made by world-leading manufacturers and also helps keep your energy usage down.

How Long is A Criterion Freezer Warranty

Return policy on major appliances is 1 month if still in packaging, 1 week out of the packaging. Criterion has some leniency with that policy where sometimes the managers will take it back if it’s non-functioning.

Criterion is a fair brand, it’s by no means a Maytag or Kitchenaid though. One of our researchers who works in a large white goods store told us “Typically when we have an issue with Criterion at my store it happens within the first year so it’s covered by warranty. I do recommend buying an extended warranty though, Criterion is not a big name (like Whirlpool or Jennair) so it’s difficult to find repair engineers (and parts) if it quits on you outside of the warranty. ” **Clearly our source isn’t quite as up to speed as we are with white-label manufacturers!
The Extended warranty covers parts and labor for 3 or 5 years after purchase. Nothing is infallible, everything will stop working eventually, the extended warranty just helps make sure you get your money’s worth of the fridge. We would recommend taking an extended warranty on a Criterion Freezer.

Is Criterion a Good Brand?

Given the recent hype over this growing brand, we believe that Criterion appliances are a solid choice at this price point. With the different models and different features of their appliances, you get a variety of models to choose from.

Criterion pricing is known to be competitive and users claim their products to be a good value for the money. Read below and you can find out more about the types of freezers they offer and some Criterion freezer reviews, which will give a much clearer idea about their quality.

Types of Criterion Freezers

There are several types of Criterion freezers available. Every one of them contains different sizes and features. Here, we will describe a few of them but to see the full range you would need to go to a local Menards.

👉 Criterion Manual Defrost Chest Freezer

This freezer will deep freeze your food and keep it tasting fresh, The easy-use control panel is fully integrated and will make sure your food is always at the correct temperature. This freezer has an easy clean interior which will make manual defrosting a cinch, and the removable storage basket gives you several options in how you store your items.

👉 Criterion Garage Ready Automatic Defrost Upright Freezer

This type of freezer is ideally suited for storing food. In addition, this Upright freezer is Garage ready because it has a stable and consistent temperature even when the garage temperature is 0 F to 110 F. It also offers automatic defrost, which keeps your food and interior frost-free.

The Best Criterion freezers (Criterion Freezer Reviews)

Everyone wants the best freezer for their home, which lasts longer than the competition and provides great performance. Here, we will talk about some of the best freezers by Criterion, so you can choose which one to buy.

1. Criterion 13.7 Cu. ft Manual Defrost Chest Freezer

This is one of the most popular freezers from Criterion by Menards. This freezer is noise-free and has low energy consumption. It rapidly freezes food after you put it in the freezer and should have good reliability. You can also easily clean the interior due to its cunning design. 

This freezer has great temperature control, and it prevents your food from frosting while maintaining a stable temperature. Currently priced at $499 direct from Menards, you can find it here

2. Criterion 17 Cu.ft Garage Ready Automatic Defrost Upright Freezer

This freezer is a big boy and can carry a lot of frozen supplies. It has an LED interior light. This freezer also offers adjustable shelves so you can organize your food easily. 

It is called a Garage ready freezer meaning it can work well in a range of hot or cold temperatures. You can see this freezer here


Who Makes Criterion Appliances?

The brand Criterion has never confirmed the name of its manufacturer(s). Hence, only their retailer’s and brand owner’s name is known for definite which is Menards. However, our research has uncovered a lot, including the fact that Midea and Whirlpool could be behind some of their products.

What Brand is Criterion?

Criterion is an exclusive brand of Menards manufacturing company of home appliances.

Where is the headquarters of Menards?

The headquarter of Menards is in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Us.

Who Makes Criterion Upright Freezers?

Their upright freezers have a solid reputation due to their value for money, as to who makes them, Criterion seems to use various manufacturers possibly including Midea who are a large OEM manufacturer.

Are Criterion Freezers Made in The USA?

There is a debate about this. While some like to believe they are made solely in the US, others claim them to have been manufactured in China and Mexico. Our article uncovers more on this topic.

How Many States have Menards Stores?

Menards has stores in 15 states around the United States. They have 335 stores.


I hope you find this article helpful and got your answers to who makes Criterion freezers for Menards or who is the manufacturer of Criterion. 

On balance, we think Criterion freezers are a solid brand and very worthy of consideration for your next freezer or refrigerator purchase.

Thank you for reading.

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Max Stokes Author

Hi, and welcome to WhoMakeHub. My name is Max Stokes. I am a degree qualified journalist and a passionate blogger! It is this combination of knowledge and curiosity that brought WhoMakeHub to life. On you will find detailed information about product makers and manufacturers. After building this site over several years I have some great industry sources and contacts which help me bring the FACTS and the odd secret to our articles! This helps you in selecting the best products for your specific needs at any point in time.


  1. Freezer went down after 4 months and lost over 1,000 in meat. Don’t buy unless you want to waste money.

  2. I have heard this a lot, there is a high failure rate. Earlier, Menard’s was selling a smaller model. I found the model through a web search that it was made by Daewoo.

  3. Dave Anderson Reply

    Any goods imported into the United States is required to state the country of origin – that’s been the law for quite a few years. In this case, I was just at Menards (12/01/2022), in particular to get a look at a Criterion model F1062019, Menards SKU 4535420, which is the 10.4-10.6 cubic foot chest freezer. On the upper right hand side was a sticker that said “Made in China”. It looked very nice, but I am going to look around.

  4. joe menards Reply

    Freezer sucks. They have an overall rating of 1.7 out of 5 stars. They are junk. Stay away. Mine quick working one month after warranty….imagine that. Get this…there is no cooling fan for the compressor so they just BURN OUT! Also, if you have liquid inside the chest freezer, it seeps along the seams at the bottom. There is NO sealant and the bottom is paper thin…so be careful.

    And why do i have to buy an extended warranty? Why does big business get away with this waste? Criterion sucks….stay away….far far away. I’m returning mine to the store. I’m gonna wheel it around the store and fill it up with some menard products and leave it at the cashier.

  5. So after all the fuss you don’t know who makes Criterion despite what you say at the beginning of the article.

    • Avatar photo

      Hi Dave, we can only work with the evidence we can uncover and there are several companies that produce for Criterion but the main one seems to be, cough, Whirlpool!

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