Top 7 Consumer Staples Stocks: July 2024

Consumer staples stocks are shares of publicly-traded companies that sell “needs.” COST and WMT are some of the best-performing consumer staples stocks over the last year.
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Written by Sam Taube
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High inflation may well be here to stay — and it may force some consumers to reconsider nonessential purchases. But consumer staples are different, at least in theory. Even when the consumer price index (CPI) is off the charts, people still have to get groceries.

What are consumer staples stocks?

Consumer staples stocks are shares of publicly-traded companies that sell “needs.” Those needs include food, consumer products such as toothpaste, and basic clothing and furniture.

The line between consumer staples stocks and consumer discretionary stocks — shares of companies that sell “wants” such as designer clothing and luxury furniture — is blurry at times. Many retailers operate in both sectors at once.

But fundamentally, consumer staples stocks are companies that make most of their money selling things that people can’t live without. And advisors say that they may be more inflation-resistant than other sectors.

“In the case of a broad inflationary environment, core industries like food and medicine would do better, because they tend to be kind of inflation-proof. People still need to eat and see doctors,” says Satoru Asato, a Minneapolis-based certified financial planner.

Top 7 consumer staples stocks by one-year performance

Below is a list of the seven best-performing consumer staples stocks in the S&P 500 index, ordered by one-year returns.



Performance (Year)


Costco Wholesale Corp



Walmart Inc



Colgate-Palmolive Co.



Bunge Global SA



Tyson Foods, Inc.



Kroger Co.



Target Corp


Source: Finviz. Data is current as of July 3, 2024, and for informational purposes only.

How to buy consumer staples stocks

If you’re completely new to investing, you’ll need to open a brokerage account in order to buy consumer staples stocks. Then you’ll need to choose between investing in individual stocks or consumer staples exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Individual consumer staples stocks have some potential appeal to investors. Many pay dividends, and a few in the table above are outperforming the S&P 500 index over the last year.

But if you’re just looking to get some exposure to consumer staples stocks as a hedge against high inflation, you can also consider the more diversified approach of investing in dozens of consumer staples stocks simultaneously through a consumer staples ETF.

Neither the author nor editor owned positions in the aforementioned investments at the time of publication.

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