It pays for a company to perfect the core products that built their brands. However, growth often comes from innovative new products that capture the imagination of a new generation of customers. The following five dividend-paying companies are constantly inventing for growth.
1. Boston Pizza
It’s more than just traditional pizza at Boston Pizza (TSX: BPF-UN) casual dining restaurants. The company’s latest offerings its new Pizza Taco and Chipotle Chicken and Bacon Pizza Taco with its signature pizza sauce.
Last month, Boston Pizza announced a cash distribution to unit holders of 10.2 cents per unit for March 2014.
2. Lassonde Industries
Lassonde Industries (TSX: LAS-A) offers a bevy of fruit and vegetable juices and drinks, as well as specialty food products. Its brands include Fruite, Fairlee, Flavur, Rougemont, Allen’s, Graves, Everfresh, Niagara, Orange Maison, SunLike, Tropical Grove, Del Monte, and Oasis. Its Oasis Health Break products include Berry, Pomegranate Antioxia and 10 Fruits Probiotics. It also offers Oasis Junior Juice Organic.
This past February, Lassonde Industries declared a quarterly dividend of $0.39 per share.
3. Pizza Pizza
Pizza Pizza (TSX: PZA) operates 722 restaurants: 629 Pizza Pizza outlets and 93 Pizza 73 outlets. Foodservice and Hospitality, Canada’s hospitality business magazine, awarded Pizza Pizza the Pinnacle Award for 2013 Company of the Year.
Known for its extensive pizza menu, the company has expanded its offerings to include Italian sandwiches and panzerottis. Three new products are the Asian Crispy Chicken Salad, Asian Grilled Chicken Salad, and Arugula Salad.
It also offers its unique School Lunch Program. This year the program features a benefit to schools that order throughout the school year. A school then receives a free order or cash value in June 2014. In April, Pizza Pizza announced a cash dividend of $0.0667 per share for April 2014.
4. Rogers Sugar
Rogers Sugar (TSX: RSI) supplies white, icing, brown, liquid, and organic sugars. It also offers value-added specialty products, dry blending, and byproducts (beet pulp and beet molasses). It offers its products under the Rogers and Lantic brand names. Innovation in its specialty products line includes its Lantic Jam & Jelly Mix, a ready-to-use product. The consumer adds fruit to the mix to make their own jam or jelly instantaneously.
In January 2014, Rogers Sugar declared a quarterly dividend of $0.09 per share.
5. General Mills
General Mills (NYSE: GIS), which operates in Canada as General Mills Canada, is innovating through developing products that work with Keurig home brewing systems. The company is debuting Nature Valley Bistro Cups Oatmeal that the consumer makes in the Keurig coffee machine. One serving includes a pack of oats, a pack of nuts and fruit, and a single-serve pod.
In March, General Mills declared a quarterly dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents an 8% increase from the prior quarterly rate of $0.38 per share. Its dividends per share in fiscal 2014 will be $1.55. This represents an increase of 17 % from the annual dividend of $1.32 paid the prior fiscal year.
Inventing for growth
Investors should consider companies with respected brands that have a long history of performance. But even better is when these same companies are “inventing” for further growth with products that appeal to consumers’ desire to try new things. Successful product innovation can drive returns for companies and stakeholders’ while satisfying consumer demand.