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4 Stocks to Tap Pandemic-Led Online Shift in Consumer Staples

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The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States allowed consumer staples companies to perform well. This was a result of the pandemic that led consumers to a buying spree of essential commodities as social distancing norms forced them to stay and work from home. In any case, being essential goods, consumer staples had to be on people’s buying list.

However, consumer staples may be expected to perform well going ahead too. One of the reasons is that the pandemic caused some changes that are expected to continue in the future. Notably, the trend of in-home consumption, which drove the sales of consumer staples, is possibly here to stay as remote working looks set to continue.

Per a survey by PwC, most companies are now heading toward a hybrid workplace following the success that remote working provided during the pandemic. The survey mentioned that 83% of employers felt the shift to remote working proved successful for them. Moreover, even though the vaccine has been deployed in the United States, it will still take a long time for it to be made available to the majority of the population. Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases across the country continues to mount. Per the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University, coronavirus cases have crossed 23.9 million in the United States, as of Jan 18.

The fast adoption of the e-commerce platform during the pandemic also helped in boosting sales of consumers staples. People shifted to online shopping of daily essentials like groceries to reduce their exposure to the virus. In fact, a grocery retail survey by Oracle, published on Nov 18, 2020, showed that 53% of respondents in the United States shopped for groceries online as the pandemic raged on while 37% said that they stocked up more frequently online than they did while buying in-store, as quoted in a PR Newswire article.

Notably, the survey found that 93% of respondents also plan to continue to shop online for groceries even after the pandemic is over with 74% reporting that they would continue to “order groceries the same amount or more as they are doing currently.” Reflective of this trend, Mercatus stated in a report that online grocery is set to account for 21.5% of total grocery sales by 2025, an estimated $250 billion. This would be an increase of more than 60% over the pre-pandemic estimates.

4 Top Stocks to Buy

The COVID-19 pandemic created some fundamental changes that are here to stay. Notably, trends like staying at home or ordering grocery online drove the sales of consumer staples and they look set to continue in the future. This makes it a good time to invest in consumer staples names that can benefit going forward. We have handpicked four such stocks that carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

B&G Foods, Inc. (BGS - Free Report) manufactures, sells and distributes a portfolio of shelf-stable and frozen foods, and household products in the United States. The company’s products are also available on e-commerce platforms. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 7.1% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 2.6%.

The Hershey Company (HSY - Free Report) , together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells confectionery products. It offers chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings, beverages and sundae syrups; and snack items. The company has its own online platform for selling its products. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 3.6% over the past 90 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 5.5%.

Monster Beverage Corporation (MNST - Free Report) , through its subsidiaries, develops, markets, sells, and distributes energy drink beverages and concentrates in the United States and internationally. The company’s products are also available on various e-commerce platforms. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 2.3% over the past 90 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 12.9%.

Utz Brands, Inc. (UTZ - Free Report) manufacturers, markets and distributes snacking products in the United States. The company also has its own online platform. It currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 5.6% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 50%.

These Stocks Are Poised to Soar Past the Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak has shifted consumer behavior dramatically, and a handful of high-tech companies have stepped up to keep America running. Right now, investors in these companies have a shot at serious profits. For example, Zoom jumped 108.5% in less than 4 months while most other stocks were sinking.

Our research shows that 5 cutting-edge stocks could skyrocket from the exponential increase in demand for “stay at home” technologies. This could be one of the biggest buying opportunities of this decade, especially for those who get in early.

See the 5 high-tech stocks now>>