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what is consumer staples

However, spending on goods produced and sold by the consumer staples sector tends to be far less cyclical due to the lessened price elasticity of demand. Price elasticity is an economic concept that describes the change in consumer quantity demand as prices change. The demand for consumer staples goods remains fairly constant regardless of the state of the economy or the cost of the product. Consumer staples refers to companies that create products considered essential by consumers. The consumer staples sector encompasses makers of everyday items like packaged food, toothpaste, and dish detergent.

As inflation soars, rising input costs – due to supply chain issues and increased raw material costs – could weigh on the consumer staples sector. This is compounded by many consumer staples companies facing higher freight and logistics costs as well. Many dividend aristocrats – companies that have increased their dividends each year for at least 25 consecutive years – are part of the consumer staples sector. As an investor, it’s crucial that you understand and monitor the changing landscape of the regulatory secretary. Use the following steps to research major companies you want to add to your portfolio. Investing in the consumer staples sector has several potential benefits for you and your portfolio, including the following.

  1. Lastly, staying informed about evolving tax laws and regulations is essential, as changes can impact your investments and tax strategies.
  2. With some products, such as food, alcohol, and tobacco, demand sometimes actually increases during economic downturns.
  3. The consumer staples sector has a long history of steady and consistent growth.
  4. As a result, these companies may provide more stable and reliable earnings even during challenging economic times.

Individual stock picking can be a very risky way of investing, and that means you should pursue this strategy with your eyes wide open. One unknown—for both 2024 and the longer term—may be the impact of the new weight-loss drugs. How many people will take these drugs and what their effect on sales will be is not yet known.

Types of companies in the consumer staples sector

An exchange-traded fund (or ETF) is a collection of stocks that trade together as a single unit, usually to mimic the overall performance of a particular index or consumer sector. Some examples of ETFs geared toward consumer staples include the Invesco DWA Consumer Staples Momentum ETF and the Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund ETF. You can also invest in an ETF that tracks the performance of international consumer goods, including the Global X MSCI China Consumer Staples ETF. When dissecting a consumer staples stock, it is important to complete a thorough examination incorporating financial ratios, fundamentals and technical analysis.

PG is one of the biggest employers in Cincinnati, Ohio, where it has its headquarters. With an annual marketing budget of $11.5 billion, it also holds the title of the world’s largest advertiser. Companies that make home maintenance products like detergents and dishwashing soap fall into this category. This website is using a security service to protect itself from online attacks. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data.

what is consumer staples

This is lower than the overall return of the S&P total market index fund, which returned 9.54% annually on average for the last 10 years. However, these stocks remained more consistent during the last year of economic uncertainty, returning an average of -0.45% compared to the S&P 500’s total return of -4.58%. This difference illustrates the benefit of holding your investment funds in consumer staples during periods of negative growth. Investing in the consumer staples sector can provide you with some stability for your portfolio but come with drawbacks.

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Take a look at major companies producing essential products

Packaged foods and soda companies may be the most at risk, whereas household products companies and retailers may be less exposed. As stocks rise in price, dividend yields will fall if the size of the dividend does not increase as well. Conversely, if stocks fall in price and if the dividend payout does not change, then the dividend yield increases. Comprising nearly 70% of the nation’s gross national product (GNP), consumer spending holds a lot of sway over the economy. Economic growth and decline are typically led by consumer spending, which is cyclical. Cyclical means there are ebbs and flows, or times when the consumer spends more and periods when they have more conservative spending habits.

It’s considered to be a “defensive” sector because consumers tend to still buy such products even when times are tight, and because it includes many mature dividend-paying companies. Additionally, the consumer staples sector has historically experienced lower price volatility compared to other sectors, which are more correlated to business cycles. The sector’s relatively steady sales and profits also provide a source of stability during volatile markets. Integrating financial ratios, fundamentals and technical analysis offers a nuanced understanding of consumer staples stocks.

Consumer staples stocks are defensive

The company started in 1909 when a chemist invented a hair dye and has since grown into the world’s largest cosmetics company. Not every firm will be able to raise their prices (to protect profit margins) without losing too many customers. Companies without strong brand loyalty are susceptible to consumers switching brands, a trend that intensified during the pandemic. is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions.

Consumer staple stocks create a “defensive position” in your stock portfolio, which helps to stabilize your entire portfolio during market volatility. The consumer staples sector is one of the stock market’s 11 sectors and is sometimes called the consumer defensive sector. It includes companies that produce goods and services that people need daily, such as food, clothing, and household and personal care products. This category also includes alcohol and tobacco.Consumer staples stocks are goods that are always in demand. Consumers generally buy these products regardless of their financial situation or economic stability.

Overview of consumer staples

The profit margins on consumer staples products are razor thin, providing stocks in the sector with very modest opportunities for growth. In periods when the economy is doing well, consumer staples stocks may underperform other more dynamic sectors. According to data from S&P 500 series of index funds, the consumer staples sector has returned an average of 6.56% per year over the past 10 years.

The consumer staples sector is a varied micro-economy that covers a diverse range of companies. While this sector might appeal to investors due to consistent demand, evolving consumer preferences are key in determining which companies will thrive and which are not viable for long-term holds. As an investor, you may want to focus on consumer staples offering enhanced ESG guidance or a plan for future sustainability — two of the top consumer demands in this sector. The most obvious example of regulatory framework in play within the consumer staples sector is within the food product sphere. Food safety regulations aim to prevent foodborne illnesses by setting standards for food processing, storage and transportation.

While Altria Group currently has a “Hold” rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys. Kimberly Ellis is a personal finance writer at Finder, specializing in banking and financial literacy. After teaching in public and private schools, Kimberly zeroed in on personal financial education to help families and kids develop lifelong money skills. She hails from New York City, graduating summa cum laude from Queens College with a BA in elementary education and mathematics, as well as a New York State teaching certificate.