The holiday season is fast approaching. And given all the stories about supply chain issues, for many Christmas buying is already underway. These food stocks might not end up on your holiday tables but you can be sure that they will end up in shopping carts now and in quarters to come.
There’s no doubt there was a surge in delivery services and prepared food during the pandemic. But now restaurants are open again, and many people are happy to fill their pantries again with all the goods for a home cooked meal.
What’s more, entertaining is back. And that means sharing a drink or virgin cocktail with friends and family. We’ve got it all covered here.
Below are some of my top-rated food stocks with a couple drink makers that are only going to get stronger as the weather gets colder.
- Celsius Holdings (NASDAQ:CELH)
- Hain Celestial Group (NASDAQ:HAIN)
- Simply Good Foods (NASDAQ:SMPL)
- Hostess Brands (NASDAQ:TWNK)
- Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP.A)
- Diageo (NYSE:DEO)
- Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO)
Food Stocks: Celsius Holdings (CELH)
The one thing about Americans is we expect our products to do something for us. Even our soft drinks. Sure they can be refreshing or cooling or nutritious but we need more to break our habits and give something new a try.
How about a naturally flavored sports drink that increases your metabolism and encourages calorie burn? Well, look no further. CELH has developed a collection of beverages that do that and also have other health benefits.
Launched in 2004 in Florida, CELH is now an international brand, and in the U.S. is sold by major retailers both online and in stores. It produces energy drinks that have vitamins, minerals and other healthy components that complement an active lifestyle.
The stock has certainly been active. CELH stock is up 120% year-to-date and the company has a market cap nearing $8 billion. It’s also a portfolio pick for popular health and fitness exchange-traded fund.
Hain Celestial Group (HAIN)
While there are certainly plenty of baby boomers out there that have made the transition from their old tried and true brands from their youth, it’s the younger generations that are very focused on buying natural and organic products. And that means what you put in your body as well as on it.
HAIN has been in a big player in this market sector since 1993, before organic and sustainable was cool. Today it’s one of the big players in this sector. And it’s products are now sold in more than 75 countries worldwide. HAIN also has added products to expand its reach into markets like India and Europe.
It also has a number of beauty products it sells under various brands like JASON, Alba Botanica, Avalon Organics and others. It’s also another brand that has significant distribution in grocery and retail stores.
HAIN stock is up 15% YTD, but now that the pandemic has loosened its grip, sales will be coming back strong.
Food Stocks: Simply Good Foods (SMPL)
If you have noticed that the first three food stocks here are health-related companies, there’s a reason for that. The pandemic hasn’t been good for many people’s ability to avoid temptation.
But now that it’s over, many people are refocusing on shedding those “pandemic pounds” and getting out and about. SMPL makes the snacks and food you should have been reaching for rather than a candy bar or a bag of potato chips.
Its two main brands are Atkins and Quest. The former is all about low-carb choices, whether it’s snack bars, drinks or meals. Quest has a similar portfolio of food and drink choices with a somewhat broader mission. Either way, low-carb, low-sugar choices are making a comeback and so is this food stock.
SMPL stock has risen 38% YTD and net sales, gross margins and earnings continue to rise at healthy clips.
Hostess Brands (TWNK)
It has been a long, strange trip for TWNK. Its lineage dates back over a century but in the past couple decades, the maker of some of the most iconic baked goods brands hit on hard times.
Competition was rising from newcomers and the company couldn’t scale to keep up. It also was appealing to tastes that were dated. Now that the baby boomers were grown ups, they were questioning whether industrial pink coconut covered Snoballs were the kind of treats they wanted to give their kids.
TWNK declared bankruptcy in 2004 but managed to reorganize. But finally in 2012, it was officially gone. Yet its death became a rallying cry. Consumers began to feel the loss of Twinkies, DingDongs, HoHos and the sweet treats from the company.
The company was brought back in 2014 by a private equity firm that then sold a piece to another company that issued a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and took it public again.
Today this iconic food stock is up 30% YTD and has a market cap moving toward $3 billion. It has also updated its selections and is performing again for new generations.
Food Stocks: Molson Coors (TAP.A)
Beer. TAP.A has 100 labels of the product and similar products in its portfolio. And its reach is global. It’s the fifth-largest beer company in the world with 42 breweries serving more than 100 countries.
The trouble during the pandemic was that people weren’t reaching for beers as much as they were liquor or wine. And those that were grabbing a cold one were tending to buy down market, cheaper brands.
Certainly, TAP.A has a number of regional brands at lower price points, but those also come with lower margins. In its Q3 report, things are looking up for sales now but earnings have yet to turn around.
TAP.A stock has lost nearly 8% YTD and has a solid dividend nearing 2.5%. Better days are certainly ahead.
While this global spirits maker can tie its history back to 1886, its newest incarnation as DEO came to life in 1997.
With a $188 billion market cap, it’s the No. 2 distiller in the world and it owns more than 200 labels. It’s also the largest scotch whiskey maker in the world.
Gen X and millennials have changed buying habits from previous generations. While they are opting for more premium alcohol at home and when out on the town, they tend to drink less.
That’s a very good fit for DEO since they offer high-end brands that have higher margins. And that’s what is helping this food stock thrive. DEO stock is up 28% YTD and has steady 1.9% dividend.
Food Stocks: Flowers Foods (FLO)
For more than a century, FLO has been baking bread in Georgia. But now it also has 47 other bakeries around the U.S. And its breads include national brands like Nature’s Own, Dave’s Killer Bread, Wonder, Sara Lee, Tastykake and others.
The fact is, it’s likely you have a loaf of FLO bread around your house and didn’t even know it.
But this food stock is in a low margin end of the business. Some of its breads carry premium prices, but its bread and butter (pardon the pun) is volume loaves that grace as many homes a possible. And it’s very good at what it does.
FLO stock has a $5 billion market cap. It sticks with its core competency and that has provided growth and durability. The stock has risen 9% YTD and has a reliable 3.3% dividend.