3 Stock Staples to Buy for a Decade of Growth


  • These consumer staples stocks will offer tantalizing growth and income over the next decade.
  • McCormick (MKC): The spice king is becoming a leading player in the fast-growing hot sauce space.
  • Brown-Forman (BF-A) (BF-B) The whiskey giant is riding the tequila boom as well.
  • Hormel Foods (HRL): This packaged foods company has built a broad protein portfolio which appeals to younger consumers.
stock staples - 3 Stock Staples to Buy for a Decade of Growth

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It’s not been the best few years for consumer staples stocks. Right now, investors are far more excited about computer chips than potato chips, and understandably so. The stock staples we have come to know have changed.

The industry has been hit by a perfect storm with inflation, supply chain problems, and labor shortages among other factors which have dragged down profitability over the past three years. But people shouldn’t throw in the towel on consumer stock staples altogether.

These companies have great brands, are relatively immune to technological change, and tend to fare well during economic downturns. Whenever the next slowdown hits, stock staples are likely to come back into fashion.

These three consumer staples stocks in particular have unusually strong fundamentals for the sector and should post above-average growth rates over the next decade. It’s time to buy these stock staples while the industry is still at a relative low point today.

McCormick (MKC)

McCormick & Company spices lined up on a grocery store shelf.
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McCormick (NYSE:MKC) is the dominant player in the United States spices and seasonings market.

It has an estimated 40-60% market share in its primary categories, coming in at more than double that of its nearest branded competitor. While many consumers are trading down to store brands during the current inflationary environment, McCormick is the leading producer of those as well, ensuring it gets paid either way.

McCormick’s core spices business is a great one. However, to keep growing, it has broadened its reach. The company now has a strong position in flavorings for restaurants and institutional kitchens. When a fast food chain, for example, wants a new flavor profile for a sandwich, it can get McCormick’s R&D team to design and produce a proprietary flavor solution for that firm.

McCormick is also making big moves in the hot sauce market; it has acquired both Frank’s and Cholula in recent years. Hot sauce is one of the fast-growing categories in food, with annualized market share growth expected above 7% annually as people look for tasty low-calorie ways to season their foods.

Humans love unique tastes and culinary experiences. McCormick is the leading purveyor of this need, and management continues to innovate and make acquisitions which will pave the way for consistent growth over the next decade and beyond.

Brown-Forman (BF-A) (BF-B)

Person holding cellphone with logo of American spirits company Brown-Forman (BF-B) Corporation on screen in front of webpage. Focus on phone display. Unmodified photo.
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Spirits company Brown-Forman (NYSE:BF-A) (BF-B) is well-known for its flagship Jack Daniels brand. The whiskey brand was so strong that the company was even able to survive the American prohibition, which sent most liquor companies of that era into bankruptcy.

Over the past century, Jack Daniels has evolved from a regional whiskey outfit to an international phenomenon. Brown-Forman should enjoy much further growth as it builds Jack Daniels’ presence in emerging markets like India and Latin America where consumers are earning higher salaries and have more disposable income for fine spirits.

In addition, Brown-Forman was an early and aggressive adopter of the tequila trend. Brown-Forman purchased Mexico’s Herradura tequila business back in 2007 for just $776 million. Since then, tequila has exploded into an international phenomenon and Brown-Forman’s investment has paid off in spades.

Between the continuing steady growth of Jack Daniels, the company’s growing line-up of premium whiskeys, and the stratospheric surge in tequila demand, Brown-Forman is set to deliver huge upside to its shareholders over the next decade.

Hormel Foods (HRL)

Hormel Foods Logo shown on a laptop screen behind a phone screen also showing the logo. HRL stock.
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Minnesota’s Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) is known for its SPAM canned pork product. That leads to understandable skepticism about the company.

What investors are overlooking, however is that Hormel Foods has entirely overhauled its product portfolio to adapt to the times and preferences of younger consumers. For example, Hormel acquired Jennie-O and has now positioned that brand as a leading purveyor of low-fat turkey meat nationally. That’s just one of a long string of acquisitions that has given it brands across a whole line of healthier-for-you and more environmentally-conscious protein-based products.

For example, Hormel is in the non-meat-based proteins market. It bought the Planters snack nut business along with Justin’s line of natural nut butter products. And Hormel has a partnership with Mexico’s Herdez to import that firm’s authentic salsas and guacamole for the burgeoning Hispanic foods market.

HRL stock trades near multi-year lows. Profit margins have slumped amid higher labor costs and higher prices for livestock and other inputs. But Hormel appears set to turn the corner in 2024 as food price inflation has moderated. Meanwhile, the company reiterated its commitment to 5-7% annualized long-term income growth.

Furthermore, the company is a Dividend King with a stunning track record of 57 consecutive annual dividend increases, and it has grown its dividend at a 13% annualized rate since 2012.

On the date of publication, Ian Bezek held a long position in MKC, BF.B, and HRL stock. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Ian Bezek has written more than 1,000 articles for InvestorPlace.com and Seeking Alpha. He also worked as a Junior Analyst for Kerrisdale Capital, a $300 million New York City-based hedge fund. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2024/02/3-stock-staples-to-buy-for-a-decade-of-growth/.

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