15 Consumer Staples Stocks You Can Count On

The market’s valuation is stretched, with the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index nearing a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.

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The market’s valuation is stretched, with the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index nearing a price-to-earnings ratio of 20. Meanwhile, financial experts including French investment bank Natixis are warning investors about a potential U.S. economic slowdown. In other words, it wouldn’t be wrong to start thinking about defensive investments – and that should include consumer staples stocks.

Utilities are the first-to-mind defensive sector because of their nearly monopolistic control over essentials such as power and water, which produces slow, steady growth and sizable yields. But don’t forget consumer staples – companies that sell necessary everyday goods such as laundry detergent, toothpaste, and of course, food. These stocks offer stability in an increasingly volatile market, and many of them pay reliable dividends to boot.

To that end, here’s a look at 15 of the market’s most reliable consumer staples stocks. Some of these companies will be familiar. A couple, while sizable, aren’t as recognizable. Don’t let the obscurity of the name or the seemingly boring business lines fool you, though. These stocks eventually will reflect the value that their consistency brings to the table.


Data is as of Oct. 27, 2017. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent quarterly payout and dividing by the share price. Click on ticker-symbol links in each slide for current share prices and more.

James Brumley
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com
James Brumley is a former stock broker, registered investment adviser and Director of Research for an options-focused newsletter. He's now primarily a freelance writer, tapping more than a decade's worth of broad experience to help investors get more out of the market. With a background in technical analysis as well as fundamental analysis, James touts stock-picking strategies that combine the importance of company performance with the power of stock-trade timing. He believes this dual approach is the only way an investor has a shot at consistently beating the market. James' work has appeared at several websites including Street Authority, Motley Fool, Kapitall and Investopedia. When not writing as a journalist, James works on his book explaining his multi-pronged approach to investing.