The 3 Best Food Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever: 2024 Edition

Stocks to buy

As uncertainty hangs over the economy, many investors are looking for shelter in reliable places. So, the steady demand for household basics like food, beverages, and personal care products reinforces the consumer staples industry. In times like these, they a go-to for those worried about weathering the storm.

Therefore, investors appreciate consumer staples like food stocks that sprinkle safety into their portfolios. Picking companies with expanding output capabilities and implementing eco-friendly practices are also important considerations. And, of course, their brands should continue to satisfy customer cravings while delivering healthy financial returns regardless of the current economic condition.

To that end, let’s look at three excellent food stocks ripe for the picking.

Lamb Weston Holdings (LW)

Source: gyn9037 / Shutterstock

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:LW) produces frozen potato products sold under the Lamb Weston brand and various customer and licensed brands, operating through four business segments: Global, Foodservice, Retail, and Other.

LW sells its frozen potatoes, commercial ingredients, and appetizers to chain and independent restaurants and wholesale and grocery distributors. They sell via a network of sales staff, brokers, agents, and distributors. In addition to frozen potato products, Lamb Weston Holdings has vegetable and dairy operations.

Recently, the company opened a new processing facility in China, which can produce up to 250 million pounds of frozen potato annually. It invested $250 million in this facility to meet customer demand growth and created over 240 local jobs. Lamb Weston Holdings says the new plant reinforces their commitment to continued business expansion in China.

LW’s latest quarterly report was green across the board. Net sales increased 36% and reached $1.73 billion, income from operations grew 12%, and net income came in at $215 million—a whopping 109% growth year over year (YOY). Also, management reaffirmed its full-year outlook on the back of such strong results, targeting $7 billion in net sales. 

Returning value to shareholders, LW repurchased $50 million of its common shares outstanding and increased their dividend by 29%. Analysts remain positive about LW’s prospects as one of the more attractive food stocks out there and give it a strong buy rating. 

Mondelez International (MDLZ)

Source: Shutterstock

Next, Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ) is a snack food and beverage company that manufactures biscuits, baked snacks, chocolate, gum, candy, cheese, grocery items, and powdered beverages. Its brand portfolio includes Oreo, Ritz, LU, Cadbury Dairy Milk, and Toblerone.

As a result, MDLZ is likely more famous for its brands than its own name. The company serves customers worldwide through direct store delivery, warehouses, distributors, and sales offices. Its products are sold in supermarket chains, club stores, convenience stores, and other retail outlets.

Recently, Mondelez International announced goals to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 2050. The company submitted a time-bound emissions reduction plan to the Science Based Targets Initiative as part of this commitment. The plan includes goals such as eliminating deforestation for critical commodities by 2025. Also, the company advocates advancing sustainability in sourcing, operations, and logistics.

Further, MDLZ released its full-year report, and the results hold promise. Net revenue grew 14.4%, primarily driven by organic net revenue growth. Operating income ended at $5.50 billion, up by $1.97 billion or 55.869%. Additionally, net earnings saw impressive growth from $2.72 billion to $4.93 billion, or about 82.5%. Analysts maintain a strong buy rating for MDLZ, reiterating a high target price of $90, or about a 23% upside. 

Post Holdings Inc. (POST)

Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Finally, Post Holdings Inc. (NYSE:POST) a consumer packaged goods holding company with four business segments. It supplies branded and private label products to grocery stores, mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs, convenience stores, food service distributors, restaurants, e-commerce, and other channels.

Recently, POST acquired Perfect Pet Food, LLC, a transaction previously reported to be worth $235 million. This deal will enhance the company’s portfolio in the consumer packaged goods sector and bring future growth.

POST’s quarterly report showcased a 25.5% increase in net sales to $1.97 billion YOY. In addition, gross profits and operating profits saw impressive growth. However, net earnings fell slightly from $91.9 million to $88.1 million. 

Still, POST’s management is optimistic about full-year 2024 results, raising its guidance to reflect its growth. Adjusted EBITDA is anticipated to reach $1,290-$1,340 million, raised from the previous guidance of $1,220-$1,280 million. 

With such results, analysts recommend POST as a strong buy, ranking it as one of the best food stocks to consider. 

On the date of publication, Rick Orford did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Rick Orford is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author, investor, influencer, and mentor. His work has appeared in the most authoritative publications, including Good Morning America, Washington Post, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, NBC, FOX, CBS, and ABC News.

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