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Tim Lambert
Should Investors Chow Down on Food Stocks?

According to a study from the McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of McKinsey, the consulting firm, the world’s consuming class will expand greatly. When that happens, a more affluent diet results.  From this, food company stocks such as Mondelez (NASDAQ: MDLZ), Unilever (NYSE: UL), and Nestle (OTC: NSRGY).

Each of these companies has an established brand, which is vital due to the nature of the industry; and the opportunity.

For the opportunity, much of the growth will come in emerging markets.  That favors massive corporations such as Unilever, Mondelez, and Nestle. Competitors would have a very difficult time matching the distribution network and brand names of these companies.  It is very expensive to set up a network in these massive, sprawling countries with underdeveloped infrastructures.

Consumers in emerging market nations are very brand consciousness, too.

They prefer products that are well known.  A major factor is food safety.  There is also the security of ordering a product that is well established in a country where the society is not that advanced in food health.

Nestle, Mondelez, and Unilever all pay strong dividends, too.

As an example, Unilever (chart below) pays a dividend at a rate of 3.68%.  That adds to the total return for each stock.  All have a history of increasing of the dividend, too.  With the steady cash flow being tapping into the consumer market, there are plenty of funds to increase the dividend and initiate stock buyback programs to reward shareholders, increasing the total returns.

Each of these companies is positioned well to benefit from growth around the world.  That allows for investors to profit from where economies and consumer demand will be increasing the most.



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