Top 7 Consumer Staples Stocks: July 2024


High inflation may well be here to stay — and it may force some consumers to reconsider nonessential purchases. But consumer staples are different, at least in theory. Even when the consumer price index (CPI) is off the charts, people still have to get groceries.

What are consumer staples stocks?

Consumer staples stocks are shares of publicly-traded companies that sell “needs.” Those needs include food, consumer products such as toothpaste, and basic clothing and furniture.

The line between consumer staples stocks and consumer discretionary stocks — shares of companies that sell “wants” such as designer clothing and luxury furniture — is blurry at times. Many retailers operate in both sectors at once.

But fundamentally, consumer staples stocks are companies that make most of their money selling things that people can’t live without. And advisors say that they may be more inflation-resistant than other sectors.

“In the case of a broad inflationary environment, core industries like food and medicine would do better, because they tend to be kind of inflation-proof. People still need to eat and see doctors,” says Satoru Asato, a Minneapolis-based certified financial planner.

Top 7 consumer staples stocks by one-year performance

Below is a list of the seven best-performing consumer staples stocks in the S&P 500 index, ordered by one-year returns.

Source: Finviz. Data is current as of July 3, 2024, and for informational purposes only.

How to buy consumer staples stocks

Individual consumer staples stocks have some potential appeal to investors. Many pay dividends, and a few in the table above are outperforming the S&P 500 index over the last year.

But if you’re just looking to get some exposure to consumer staples stocks as a hedge against high inflation, you can also consider the more diversified approach of investing in dozens of consumer staples stocks simultaneously through a consumer staples ETF.

Neither the author nor editor owned positions in the aforementioned investments at the time of publication.



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