Surprising Stocks to Buy for Dividends, Defense and Inflation Protection

Soft drink equities could be a great place to hide out amid heightened market volatility and rapidly rising prices.

soft drink being poured into a glass
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Any bet that could offer the trifecta of value, dividends and inflation protection would appear to be a slam dunk pick in today's particularly tricky market. Well, it just so happens that such names exist, and they hail from a somewhat surprising sector: beverage stocks.

Believe it or not, beverage stocks – or shares in companies that make carbonated refreshments, sports drinks, coffees, teas, juices, energy drinks and more – could be an investor's best friend amid a turbulent 2022, says CFRA Research.

"With interest rates expected to rise and inflation near a 40-year high, we view the investment case for soft drink equities as the strongest it has been in some time," writes CFRA's thematic research team.

Before you dismiss this argument as a case of market strategists imbibing something a bit stronger than Diet Coke, let's hear them out.

Beverage stocks, like most consumer staples names, have a lot of what the market most wants this year. They're value stocks, for one thing, which are currently back in fashion at the expense of last year's growth darlings.

Beverage stocks also are defensive names, with relatively stable sales and earnings, strong margins and free cash flow. Those attributes, in turn, support attractive dividends, which soft drink companies have a history of increasing, regardless of economic conditions.

"As such, we view soft drink equities as good inflation hedges due to their ability to leverage brand value to successfully raise prices," the CFRA team concludes.

Of course, not all beverage stocks are created equal, and CFRA Research calls out four names in particular as top Buys.

Have a look at CFRA Research's best beverage stocks to buy below. We'll recap the investment case for each one, and check in briefly with what the rest of Wall Street says about the picks too.


Share prices and other market data as of March 18. Analysts' recommendations courtesy of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Stocks are listed alphabetically.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.

Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.