10 Deliciously Profitable Food and Beverage Stocks

Everyone has to eat. That's why food stocks can often be some of the most consistent performers in the market. From restaurants to coffee chains and brewers, companies in the business of feeding the masses can be hugely profitable enterprises.

Here are 10 of the best performing food stocks trading today.

1. Starbucks [NYSE: SBUX]

Those cups of joe have equaled cauldrons of profits for the Seattle coffee behemoth. Shares are up 52% in the last 12 months, and kudos to anyone who bought in back at the start of 2009, when the company was trading at a mere $4 a share. Starbucks pulled in $2 billion in profits last year on $16.4 billion revenue, making the bean counters very happy.

2. Monster Beverage [NASDAQ: MNST]

There are few stocks of any kind that have grown at the pace of this maker of energy drinks. Shares are up 45% this year, and nearly 500% in the last five years. Investors should love the annual profits of $483 million on revenues of nearly $2.5 billion.

3. Molson Coors Brewing [NYSE: TAP]

Other brewers get the headlines, but this company has seen steady and strong growth for years. Shares are up about 14% in the last three months, and 24% in the last three years. As people have moved away from low-priced beers to more "premium" brands, Molson Coors has seen increases in sales to its higher end Blue Moon, Leinenkugel's, and Redd's brands.

4. Chipotle Mexican Grill [NYSE: CMG]

Perhaps no restaurant has benefitted more from the push away from fast food toward "fast casual." Shares of the burrito chain are up 17% in the last three months, and 30% in the last three years. Chipotle pulled in $4 billion in revenue last year, with profits of $445 million.

5. Buffalo Wild Wings [NYSE: BWLD]

It's football season, so it's a good time of year for "B-Dubs," which is growing faster than almost any restaurant chain in America. The company recorded net income of $21 million during the last quarter, on a record $466 million in revenue. That type of profitability has been great for shareholders, who've seen a 24% return over the last three months.

6. Papa John's [NYSE: PZZA]

The "Better ingredients, better pizza" motto has also meant better returns for investors, to the tune of a 74% return over the last year and 39% return over three years. Papa John's reported revenue of $1.6 billion with net income of $75 million last year.

7. Domino's Pizza Inc. [NYSE: DPZ]

Ever since announcing to the world that it was changing its pizza recipe, Domino's has been on a tear. Investors have enjoyed a 49% return over the last 52 weeks. Revenue hit nearly $2 billion last year, with net income of $163 million.

8. Gruma [OTC: GMKYY]

If you've ever bought or made a burrito, you've probably come across this company's core products, corn and flour tortillas. Gruma, based in Mexico, is the largest maker and distributor of these items that serve as a staple in many dinners around the world. Investors have seen a 30% return over the last year and a 70% return over the last three.

9. Pepsico [NYSE: PEP]

I hate to knock Coca-Cola, which has been one of the best performing stocks in the history of America, and a favorite of Warren Buffett. But the fact is that Pepsi investors have made out a lot better recently. Shares are about flat over the last 12 months, but compare that to an 8% decline seen by Coke investors. Growth may be slowed as customers move away from sugary drinks, but this is still a company with more than $66 billion in revenue and $6.5 billion in profits annually.

10. Hormel Foods [NYSE: HRL]

This producer of meat and other food products has been a consistently solid performer. Shares are up 20% year to date, and 30% over the last three years. The company recorded $2.2 billion in revenue in most recent quarter alone, with net income of $147 million. That's a lot of Spam.

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Guest's picture

With SBUX up 52% this is creating attention for this food and beverage stock as well making noise within the sector that could possibly make some commotion for other companies like ICNB http://bit.ly/202z1jF