Many do believe that consumer staples, such as stocks in the food industry, will hold up better if the economy stays flat or drops than the typical stock.
As for Zoomlik's comment about his book value calculation, I appreciate Zoomlik's humility in stating his calcuation could be wrong. First, Zoomlik reports he/she excluded intangibles. It is unwise to exclude all intangibles on a brand so well-known as Dole. Dole's name has significant value in the fruit industry and, IMHO, also in the veg industry. One associates Dole with a clean, safe product rather than a bargain basement product that might be sold by a less easily-located company that didn't care much about tort claims ever filed against it or about its reputation being sullied. Second, Jim Cramer's research, led by a Harvard honors graduate with Wall St. experience, suggests a much higher value, definitely at least $15/share. It reflects the Cramer team's view after the spin off announced in Sept. Read it if you wish, freely available via hyperlinks at Yahoo Finance under "News" if you type in the ticker symbol DOLE. Third, S & P recently evaluated Dole financially. Although S & P did not raise Dole's credit rating post-spin off, S & P did change the outlook to positive from its basic neutral category.
If you profit from buying DOLE, please consider sharing some of the profit with a charity. Best wishes,