Consistent with the modest year-to-date decline, shares of roughly half of the companies in the grain-based foods index have moved higher year to date. Shares of five companies have double-digit declines, ranging to 36%, while seven are up double digits, ranging to 49%. A full year accounting will appear in Milling & Baking News early in 2018.
The underperformance of food and beverage shares in 2017 versus the overall market has been attributed to several factors, including a general market rotation toward sectors such as industrials and technology. Of greater concern has been wariness toward food stocks attributed to uncertainty about the sector’s future in the wake of the acquisition of Whole Foods Market by Amazon. The challenge in the year ahead for grain-based foods companies will be to prove they are adapting to major changes under way in the U.S. food market.