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Buy Now: 3 Food Stocks Every Portfolio Needs

Food stocks can be some of the best investments for your portfolio. Food stocks are similar in some ways to utility stocks in that you need to purchase food, but they differ in that consumers can choose how much or what types of food to purchase.

Fortunately, the market never disappoints with respect to options, and there are plenty of great food stocks to add to your portfolio, irrespective of whether your goal is income, growth, or both.

Here are some of the best food stocks to consider adding.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSX:MFI) is a well-known food producer of chicken and pork meat products under a variety of different brand names. That’s not to say that Maple Leaf hasn’t branched into other areas; the company acquired a plant-based proteins manufacturer earlier this year in a $140 million deal that has enabled the opportunity for Maple Leaf to sell meatless products.

A  few months ago, I’d mentioned the growth potential of this stock, and it hasn’t failed to impress since then, appreciating nearly 10% in under six months.

In the most recent quarter, Maple Leaf realized a jump of 6.6% in sales and 18.2% in net earnings. The impressive results are likely to fuel further growth of the stock in 2018 and beyond, making the stock best suited for investors looking primarily at growth.

Over the course of 2017, the stock appreciated by over 27%, and looking out over a five-year period shows an incredible 200% increase. The company also offers investors a quarterly dividend, but with a yield of 1.23%, the dividend would hardly be reason enough to invest in the stock.

If income production is more to your liking, then High Liner Foods Inc. (TSX:HLF) should be on your shortlist. High Liner is a seafood packaging company that sells products to businesses, bulk club stores, and supermarkets under a myriad of brand names. If your supermarket has a frozen fish aisle, chances are High Liner products are there.

That broad exposure provides High Liner with a sizable moat over the competition, which High Liner can leverage to introduce new products that cater to the changing tastes of the public.

High Liner provides investors with a very healthy 4% yield, making this stock a great income option, comparing to some of the best dividend stocks on the market.

Premium Brand Holdings Corp. (TSX:PBH) is not a name you might hear every day, but the specialty food manufacturer owns and distributes dozens of well-known food brands.

Premium Brands has been on an absolute tear in 2017, with the stock soaring over 50% year to date. Much of that growth can be attributed to the strong sales numbers the company continues to deliver with each passing quarter.

Last month, the company announced record-breaking results for the third quarter, which included a 15.9% increase in revenue and an 8.9% increase in adjusted earnings per share.

In addition to the great results, potential investors in Premium Brands should take note of the aggressive expansion underway at the company. In the past month alone, Premium Brands announced the acquisition of three separate businesses, all of which fit into the portfolio of products Premium Brands offers.

Premium Brands also offers investors a quarterly dividend of 1.61%, but long-term growth is more likely the reason to invest in this stock.

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Fool contributor Demetris Afxentiou has no position in any stocks mentioned.


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