Years' Worth of Passive Income Is Hiding in Plain Sight

Some of the best dividend stocks are the ones you use every single day. Don’t believe that? Just walk into a grocery store.

If you think finding great dividend stocks is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, think again. It is as easy as walking through your local grocery store, where Dividend Kings, stocks that have 50+ years of annual dividend increases behind them, are all over the place. Three you might want to consider adding to your wishlist, if not your buy list, are Procter & Gamble (PG -0.01%), Coca-Cola (KO -0.87%), and Hormel Foods (HRL 0.74%). Here’s a quick look at each.

Procter & Gamble: Innovation leads the way

Procter & Gamble has increased its dividend annually for 67 consecutive years, soundly in Dividend King territory. The dividend yield is around 2.3% today, which isn’t huge but is notably higher than what you would get from the S&P 500, which is yielding around 1.3% right now. P&G’s products fall into the consumer staples space, but it notably does not make food.

The big story with P&G is innovation. It works to ensure that its portfolio of everyday essentials, like paper towels, laundry detergent, and toothpaste, have strong brands backing them. But that strength is derived from offering industry-leading benefits, which allow P&G to charge premium prices. Spending on research and development allows the consumer staples giant to keep upping its game, bringing out “new” and “improved” products on a regular basis. That, plus the company’s impressive marketing muscle, brings customers into stores and makes P&G an incredibly valuable supplier for retailers. If you like big, industry-leading companies, this Dividend King should be on your shortlist.

Coca-Cola: Selling flavored water is wonderful

Coca-Cola is one of Warren Buffett’s favorite stocks. Its namesake brand is iconic around the world and an industry leader in the soda space. But the company’s portfolio of drinks spans well beyond what amounts to sweetened and flavored water, including coffee, sports drinks, and, well, plain old water. Coca-Cola has increased its dividend annually for 61 years, and the yield today is roughly 3.2%.

While there’s innovation that goes on with drinks, the big story for Coca-Cola is the $263 billion market cap company’s industry dominance. The Coke brand itself is a huge positive, but then you get to add in a global footprint, a vast distribution network, and the financial wherewithal to support massive advertising campaigns. The company is also large enough to act as a consolidator when hot new drink trends come around, allowing it to adjust its portfolio along with consumer tastes. When you think about soda, you think about Coca-Cola, and that’s for good reason. Not only is Coca-Cola a key partner to retailers, but, at this point, it would be virtually impossible to unseat this soda king.

Hormel: An out-of-favor food maker

Hormel Foods, as its name implies, makes food, with a heavy focus on protein. It has shifted its business over the years from a commodity producer of meat to a branded products company. It has increased its dividend annually for 57 consecutive years and currently yields around 3.2%. What’s notable about that figure is that it is near the highest level in the company’s history. Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble are decent stocks to own, but they aren’t on the deep discount sale rack today; Hormel is.

To be fair, Hormel is struggling right now. It hasn’t been able to pass rising costs on to customers as quickly as peers; avian flu has hampered its turkey operations, the company bought Planters just as the nut sector was starting to slow down, and China, a key growth market for Hormel, has been recovering more slowly than expected from pandemic lockdowns. Taken together, that’s an ugly list. But if you break it down, each individual problem is one that just requires time to fix. Given the company’s status as a Dividend King, it seems logical to give management the benefit of the doubt here and collect the historically high yield while you wait for better days. After all, the company has already worked through tough times over the past half century.

You don’t need to look too hard

The big takeaway here is that you can find great dividend stocks right under your nose and probably in your grocery cart. Companies that have paid investors well via reliable dividends for decades on end are literally sitting right in front of you. P&G and Coca-Cola are the kinds of stocks you put on your wishlist, waiting for a market downturn to add them to your portfolio. Hormel, however, is the kind of stock you might want to add to your holdings right now while it is still out of favor.

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