Pantry Stocks Take Off: Campbell Soup (CPB), Clorox (CLX), Kraft Heinz (KHC)

By Greg Guenthner May 6, 2016, 10:00 AM 

Another “safe stock” is soaring to new highs this week. And it’s all because so many folks are breaking a sacred American condiment rule…

I’ll let Clint Eastwood’s legendary Dirty Harry character explain exactly what I’m talking about. Harry handled some of the most gruesome crimes that would bring most men to tears. But a sullied hotdog crossed the line.

“You know what really makes me sick to my stomach?” Harry asks in Sudden Impact. “Watching you stuff your face with those hotdogs. Nobody—I mean NOBODY—puts ketchup on hotdogs.”

As you probably know, there are plenty of acceptable hotdog toppings in the world. Mustard. Sauerkraut. Chili. Bacon. Cheese. Onions. Relish. Hot peppers. If you’re in Chicago, they’ll even slap a pickle and sliced tomato on top of a bunch of other stuff. And it’s pretty damn good. Ketchup’s not on the list.

I consider myself a tolerable person—but I just can’t let you get away with drowning a perfectly good dog in ketchup.

But you animals won’t listen to me. Ketchup sales are soaring. In fact, the entire condiment business is on fire right now. The same goes for mac and cheese, Jell-O, and hundreds of other foods haunting the back of your kitchen pantry.

That’s the kind of market we’re dealing with right now. Investors are flocking to the safe mega caps in the consumer staples sector. While everyone’s fighting to get out of speculative plays, investors are loading up on snoozers like Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE:CPB), Clorox Co. (NYSE:CLX), and Kraft Heinz Co. (NYSE:KHC).

pantry stocks

Scooping up shares of these “pantry stocks” ain’t a bad idea. Especially when you consider that many of these stocks haven’t been affected by the market’s May swoon. One look at Kraft Heinz’s earnings and the stock’s rush to new all-time highs yesterday tells the tale…

The company released better-than-expected profits this week and reported demand for its sauces, condiments (and ketchup) is soaring…

“Kraft Heinz said demand for its ketchup, mustard and cream cheese was strong in the United States,” Fortunes reports. “The region accounts for more than two-thirds of its total sales.”

That’s a lot of ruined hotdogs…

It also doesn’t hurt that the merger between Kraft and Heinz orchestrated by Warren Buffett last year (he’s a big shareholder) is saving the company tons of cash. Not only is the sector a safe haven right now—there’s also a ton of news and positive traction for shares of KHC.

As I said yesterday, whenever a storm is brewing, investors predictably flock to a handful of safe sectors. We should follow their lead…

There’s not much to complain about when it comes to the breakouts we’re seining in staples right now. And remember…

Ketchup is for burgers—not dogs.

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