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4 Food Stocks to Buy as Coronavirus Fears Rise Again

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The FDA approval of two coronavirus vaccines had raised optimism last month. However, an astounding rise in new cases coupled with the newly found strain in the U.K. has once again ignited fears in the minds of millions.

The new strain, which experts say is far more dangerous and deadly, has been found in multiple states and people are again keeping indoors. Moreover, a record number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have made the picture gloomier. It thus won’t come as a surprise if people start stockpiling food items and other grocery products once again.

Coronavirus Cases on the Rise

On Jan 5, the United States crossed 21 million cases of coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins University. The figures definitely are scary given that the country continues to admit a record number of COVID-19 patients in hospital every day.  

As of Jan 6 evening, the United States had registered a total of 21,007,694 cases according to the Johns Hopkins University, which is almost the combined total of the next three countries — India, Brazil and Russia. Moreover, the country recorded 1 million new cases in just four days.

Hospitalizations too are on the rise with a total of 131,200 as of Tuesday evening, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

COVID-19 Changing Consumers’ Habits

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people have been shopping and eating. Demand for packaged food has gone up given that people go for stockpiling on food and grocery every time fears of the virus increase.

Also, an increasing number of people are opting forcomfort food at home given that people are still afraid of visiting restaurants and cafes.

Although two vaccines from Pfizer, Inc. (PFE) and Moderna, Inc. (MRNA) have been approved by the FDA and the immunization process has started, fears fail to subside. Moreover, given this sudden rise in infections, many states are once again contemplating reinforcing restrictions on movement. It thus won’t come as a surprise if people once again start confining themselves to their homes.

This may once again see people stockpiling essential goods, including packaged and processed food. Also, health-conscious people might start stockpiling on health foods and supplements.

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (HAIN - Free Report) offers a wide range of popular better-for-you groceries, snacks and tea. 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 51.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 11.4% over the past 60 days. The Hain Celestial Group holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

BG Foods, Inc. (BGS - Free Report) manufactures, sells and distributes a portfolio of shelf-stable and frozen foods, and household products in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Its products include frozen and canned vegetables, oatmeal and hot cereals, fruit spreads, canned meats and beans, bagel chips, spices, seasonings, hot sauces, wine vinegars, maple syrups and a range of other products.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 43.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 0.4% over the past 60 days. BG Foods carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc.(SFM - Free Report) , which operates in a highly fragmented grocery store industry, has a unique model that features fresh produce at the center of the store, an expansive bulk foods section, and a vitamin department focused on overall wellness. 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 81.6%. Its shares have gained 1.5% in the past 30 days. Sprouts Farmers has a Zacks Rank #2.

Hostess Brands, Inc (TWNK - Free Report) is involved in developing, manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing sweet goods primarily in the United States. The company produces new and classic treats which include Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Donettes, Fruit Pies as well as Twinkies and CupCakes. 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 23%. Its shares have gained 3.8% in the past 30 days. Hostess Brands has a Zacks Rank #2.

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