Steadily growing passive income can be life-changing. Since it can help an investor cover bills without having to sell off stock holdings, this can ease the fear of running out of money in retirement. And it can also give investors the peace of mind to pursue their real passions in life without the constant need for financial worries.

How can an investor make this dream become a reality? Buying stocks with proven track records and bright futures is arguably the best bet. And with at least 25 years of dividend growth under their belts, Dividend Aristocrats fit the bill. Here are two such stocks that could form the foundation of a dividend growth portfolio.

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1. Air Products & Chemicals

Air Products & Chemicals (APD 0.31%) has a $59 billion market capitalization and operations in 50 countries, making it one of the largest industrial-gases companies on the planet.

Industrial gases are used in manufacturing across a variety of sectors, including healthcare, food and beverages, and electronics. As the global population continues to climb and more developing economies mature, demand for products that use industrial gases as inputs will also rise. This is why the firm Expert Market Research anticipates that the global opportunity will grow at a compound annual rate of 6.8% from $80.1 billion in 2020 to $118.9 billion by 2026.

In the last eight years, Air Products & Chemicals has delivered 11% annual growth in adjusted earnings per share (EPS) to shareholders. And thanks to the promising forecast for the industrial gases industry, analysts believe that over the next five years, the rate will be maintained at 11.6% each year.

With a 40-year dividend growth streak, Air Products is also a solid pick for income investors. The company's 2.5% dividend yield is significantly higher than the S&P 500's 1.7% yield. And given that the dividend payout ratio came in just under 60% in the most recent fiscal year, the dividend should grow as fast as earnings over the next few years. 

Best of all, Air Products & Chemicals' valuation is reasonable. The stock's forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 23.3 is essentially in line with the industrial gases industry average forward P/E ratio of 22.8. 

2. McCormick

With products sold in 170 countries and territories, McCormick (MKC 0.17%) is a truly global purveyor of spices, condiments, and seasoning mixes. The company has such a vast variety of brands that there is probably a product for everyone. Hot sauce lovers will enjoy Frank's RedHot and Cholula Hot Sauce, and mustard enthusiasts will love French's.

As a leading seasoning and spices company, McCormick is poised to benefit from a favorable industry outlook. Since more consumers are cooking at home and there is a growing awareness of the health benefits of spices, the firm Grand View Research is optimistic on the future of the global market.

This is reflected in the firm's forecast that the global seasoning and spices market will increase at a 5.6% rate each year from $37.3 billion in 2022 to $57.7 billion in 2030. In light of this outlook, analysts are projecting 5.1% annual earnings growth from McCormick over the next five years.

The company's 1.9% dividend yield is slightly higher than the S&P 500's 1.7% yield. And with the dividend payout ratio set to come in just under 55% for the current fiscal year, the dividend should have no problem moving higher. 

McCormick's Shiller P/E ratio of 29.2 is a tad below its 10-year median Shiller P/E of 32.1. Given that the company's fundamentals are as strong as they have been over the last decade, this is a decent entry point for investors seeking ever-growing passive income.