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Coronavirus Fears to Boost Packaged Food Sales: 4 Picks

Ritujay Ghosh
·4 min read

Restaurant sales have been on the rise since the economy started reopening. However, the industry which is just trying to stand back on its feet after being battered by the coronavirus-induced lockdown in March and April, fears of the virus has come back haunting.

With coronavirus infections on the rise again, it may not come as a surprise if people once again start keeping indoors and start stockpiling. This may, however, help the packaged food industry, which came as a savior during the pandemic. Demand for packaged food witnessed a surge as lockdowns were imposed, and packaged food and health supplements with extended shelf life started going off the racks.

Packaged Food in Focus Again

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people have been shopping and eating. Demand for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) has seen a sudden surge. According to a Reutersreport, packaged food companies in the United States have seen a sudden jump in demand as shoppers since the outbreak have been buying processed food on fears on longer confinement at home.

The pandemic has thus somewhat turned the fortunes of many companies, with most now raising their annual financial targets. Also, an increasing number of people are opting forcomfort food at home given that people are still afraid of visiting restaurants and cafes after the economy reopening.

Coronavirus Cases on the Rise Again

As predicted by experts, coronavirus cases are once again on the rise with the onset of fall. The United States has reported a record number of daily coronavirus infections over the past few days, with total cases now having crossed 10.3 million.

Although Pfizer, Inc. PFE on Nov 9 raised hopes among millions after the drugmaker said that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate has so far proved to be successful in the final-stage of clinical trials, there still isn’t any assured cure for the virus. Given this sudden rise in infections, many states are once again contemplating reinforcing restrictions on movement. It thus it won’t come as a surprise if people once again start confining themselves to their homes.

This may once again see people stockpiling on essential goods, including packaged and processed food. Also, health conscious people might also start stockpiling on health foods and supplements.

Our Choices

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. HAIN produces, distributes, markets and sells various natural and organic foods as well as personal care products. It offers groceries, non-dairy beverages and frozen desserts, flour and baking mixes, cereals, condiments, cooking oils, and infant and toddler food.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 41.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 4.4% over the past 60 days. Hain Celestial carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

Pilgrims Pride Corporation PPC is focusing on strengthening its Prepared Foods category.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 39.7% over the past 60 days. Pilgrims Pride Corporation hasa Zacks Rank #2.

United Natural Foods, Inc. UNFI is the leading distributor of natural, organic and specialty food and non-food products in the United States and Canada. The company carries more than 1,10,000 high-quality natural, organic and specialty products, consisting of national, regional and private label brands in six product categories. 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 26.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved more than 100% over the past 60 days. United Natural Foods sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Tyson Foods, Inc. TSN is the biggest U.S. chicken company and produces, distributes and markets chicken, beef, pork as well as prepared foods.  

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 14.9%. Its shares have gained 3.2% over the past 30 days. Tyson Foods has a Zacks Rank #2.

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Pfizer Inc. (PFE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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