The consumer staples sector is composed of companies that produce and sell items considered essential for everyday use. Consumer staples products include household goods, food, beverages, hygiene products, and other items that individuals are either unwilling or unable to eliminate from their budgets even in times of financial trouble. As a result, these companies are viewed as non-cyclical and able to maintain stable growth regardless of the state of the economy. Some of the big names in the sector include Procter & Gamble Co. (PG), Coca-Cola Co. (KO), and General Mills Inc. (GIS).

Consumer staples stocks, as represented by the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP), have underperformed the broader market over the past year. XLP has provided investors with a total return of 19.0% over the past 12 months, well below the Russell 1000's total return of 38.1%. These market performance numbers and all statistics in the tables below are as of July 16, 2021.

Here are the top 3 consumer staples stocks with the best value, the fastest growth, and the most momentum.

Best Value Consumer Staples Stocks

These are the consumer staples stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Best Value Consumer Staples Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
Bunge Ltd. (BG) 73.59 10.4 5.1
Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) 71.40 26.1 12.1
Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. (SPB) 84.81 3.6 12.2

Source: YCharts

  • Bunge Ltd.: Bunge is a global agribusiness and food company. It supplies and transports agricultural commodities, including sugar ethanol, wheat, and corn. The company also processes oilseeds and grains and sells fertilizers.
  • Tyson Foods Inc.: Tyson Foods produces, distributes, and markets chicken, beef, pork, and prepared foods. Some of its brands include Hillshire Farm, Sara Lee, and State Fair. The company announced in early June that Chief Operating Officer (COO) Donnie King has been appointed president and chief executive officer (CEO), effective immediately. He replaced Dean Banks, who left the company and his seat on the board for personal reasons.
  • Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc.: Spectrum Brands provides home-essentials products. It offers residential builders' hardware, plumbing, personal care products, small household appliances, lawn and garden products, specialty pet supplies, and more.

Fastest Growing Consumer Staples Stocks

These are the top consumer staples stocks as ranked by a growth model that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly YOY percentage revenue growth and their most recent quarterly YOY earnings per share (EPS) growth. Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one or the other figure unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with quarterly EPS or revenue growth of over 2,500% were excluded as outliers.

Fastest Growing Consumer Staples Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%) Revenue Growth (%)
Target Corp. (TGT) 251.15 124.3 644.6 23.4
Boston Beer Co. Inc. (SAM) 925.09 11.4 253.0 64.9
Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. (HLF) 51.29 5.5 315.6 19.0

Source: YCharts

  • Target Corp.: Target owns and operates general merchandise and food discount stores as well as a fully integrated online business. The company offers a wide assortment of general merchandise and food.
  • Boston Beer Co. Inc.: Boston Beer is a brewer engaged in the business of producing and selling craft-brewed beers and cider products at its own breweries and various other contract breweries. The company announced in mid-May that it was establishing a new subsidiary in Canada. The subsidiary will be a research and innovation hub focusing on non-alcoholic cannabis beverages. Boston Beer hired cannabis industry veteran Paul Weaver with the title of Director, Head of Cannabis, to lead the new research hub.
  • Herbalife Nutrition Ltd.: Herbalife Nutrition is a global nutrition company. It offers weight management products and healthy meals and snacks, as well sports and fitness, energy, and other targeted nutritional products. It also sells personal care products. Herbalife Nutrition announced in early May the appointment of Mark Schissel as COO. Schissel previously was executive vice president of worldwide operations and joined the company in 2007. He is set to assume his new role on Aug. 2, 2021, and will replace David Pezzullo, who is retiring.

Consumer Staples Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the consumer staples stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Consumer Staples Stocks with the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Darling Ingredients Inc. (DAR) 65.58 10.7 148.5
Target Corp. (TGT) 251.15 124.3 109.3
Coty Inc. (COTY) 8.44 6.5 96.3
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 38.1
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) N/A N/A 19.0

Source: YCharts

  • Darling Ingredients Inc.: Darling Ingredients develops and produces sustainable natural ingredients from both edible and inedible bio-nutrients. Its products are used in the pharmaceutical, food, pet food, fuel, bioenergy, fertilizer, and other industries. Darling Ingredients announced in May financial results for Q1 of its 2021 fiscal year (FY), the three-month period ended April 3, 2021. Net income rose 78.2% on a 22.7% increase in net sales compared to the year-ago quarter.
  • Target Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Coty Inc.: Coty is a maker and distributor of beauty products. The company's products include color cosmetics, hygiene products, fragrances, sun care products, and skin treatments. Coty products are sold in department stores, retailers, and airport duty free shops around the world.

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