Investor's wiki

Consumer Staples

Consumer Staples

What Are Consumer Staples?

The term consumer staples alludes to a set of essential products utilized by consumers. This category incorporates things like foods and drinks, household goods, and cleanliness products as well as liquor and tobacco. These goods are those products that individuals are unable โ€” or reluctant โ€” to cut out of their spending plans no matter what their financial situation.

Consumer staples are viewed as non-cyclical, implying that they are consistently in demand, all year, regardless of how well the economy is โ€” or isn't โ€” performing. Accordingly, consumer staples are impenetrable to business cycles. Likewise, individuals will generally demand consumer staples at a somewhat consistent level, no matter what their price.

The Basics of Consumer Staples

Comprising almost 70% of the country's gross national product (GNP), consumer spending holds a ton of influence over the economy. Economic growth and decline are ordinarily driven by consumer spending, which is cyclical. Cyclical means there are rhythmic movements, or times when the consumer spends more and periods when they have more conservative spending habits.

In any case, spending on goods created and sold by the consumer staples sector will in general be undeniably less cyclical due to the reduced price elasticity of demand. Price elasticity is an economic concept that depicts the change in consumer quantity demand as prices change. The demand for consumer staples goods remains genuinely consistent no matter what the state of the economy or the cost of the product.

The Makeup of the Consumer Staples Sector

Companies that sell drug drugs, similar to pharmacies, are remembered for the sector, as are companies that produce and develop crops. Inside the S&P 500 Index, consumer staples are broken down into six industries:

  • Refreshments
  • Food and staples retailing
  • Food products
  • Household products
  • Personal products
  • Tobacco

In spite of the fact that there are no substitutes for consumer staples goods, consumers have a ton of options while shopping for the cheapest products. That makes the competition among providers extremely testing in an environment where commodity prices are rising. To contend on price consumer staples producers must have the option to keep their costs down by taking on new advancements and processes, or they must separate by introducing creative products.

Consumer Staples Financial Performance

The consumer staples sector has outperformed everything except one sector beginning around 1962. As indicated by the S&P Dow Jones Indices, for the majority of the 10 years ending April 26, 2021, the consumer staples sector returned 8.20% annually. Compare this to the 11.86% return of the S&P 500 over a similar period. In any case, the two generally move in accordance with each other.

All the more importantly, the consumer staples sector has outperformed the S&P 500 during the last three recessionary periods โ€” or periods of negative growth in the gross domestic product (GDP). Due to their low volatility, consumer staples stocks are considered to play a key job in defensive strategies.

Investing in Consumer Staples

Floated by the constant demand of their products, consumer staples companies generate steady revenues, even in recessionary periods. Thus, consumer staples stocks decline undeniably less during bear markets than stocks in different sectors. For certain products, like food, liquor, and tobacco, demand sometimes really increases during economic downturns.

The consumer staples sector additionally frequently draws investors with its parts' rich dividend yields, which will generally be bigger than those generated in different sectors. In view of their slow and consistent nature, consumer staples stocks can likewise not just keep on paying dividends through recessionary periods yet frequently keep on expanding their payouts. As per "," the annual dividend rate increased 8% over the 20 years ended in 2015.

As stocks rise in price, dividend yields will fall on the off chance that the size of the dividend doesn't increase too. On the other hand, assuming stocks fall in price and in the event that the dividend payout doesn't change, then the dividend yield increases. For instance, when stock prices fell decisively in the wake of the 2020 economic crisis and lockdown, the yield for State Street's Consumer Staples sector index ETF (XLP) rose from 2.74% to 3.00%, due essentially to the lower priced shares delivering a similar dividend amount.

Further, consumer staples are important for portfolio diversification. Likewise, in light of the fact that these stocks will generally perform in a manner counter to the consumer discretionary sector in market recessions, they can assist with carrying balance to a portfolio. They will generally get reliable earnings that support their dividend yields not at all like the boom and bust cycles of less secure high-growth stocks, however more growth is available for consumer staples as they extend globally.


  • Steady dividends, earnings

  • Little volatility

  • Low risk

  • Save haven in recessionary times


  • Slow growth

  • Limited highs

  • Underperformers when interest rates rise

Consumer staples stocks can be a decent option for investors seeking consistent growth, strong [dividends](/dividend), and low [volatility](/volatility). One can invest in consumer staples by purchasing the stocks of the individual consumer staples companies โ€” industry leaders incorporate Procter and Gamble (P&G), B&G Foods (BGS), Kimberly-Clark (KMB), and Phillip Morris (PM) โ€” or by purchasing mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that have some expertise in the sector.

Real World Example of Consumer Staples

Large numbers of the major investment companies offer some consumer staples play. Vanguard, for instance, offers VDC, a consumer staples ETF, and a Consumer Staples Index mutual fund. Invesco has PBJ, its dynamic food and drink ETF, alongside a more broad S&P SmallCap Consumer Staples ETF.

Further, if you need to try investing internationally โ€” all things considered, individuals need staples the world over โ€” the WisdomTree Emerging Markets Consumer Growth ETF (EMCG) and the iShares Global Consumer Staples ETF (KXI) are two options.


  • Described by consistent in the event that unremarkable growth, the consumer staple sector is a haven in for investors in recessionary times.
  • Consumer staple stocks address companies that are noncyclical on the grounds that they produce or sell goods or services that are dependably in demand.
  • Consumer staples stocks can be a decent option for investors seeking predictable growth, strong dividends, and low volatility.