Not every company is slashing its dividend these days. Some of the market's better performers are easing up on their purse strings and sending more money out to their shareholders.

Readers of the Income Investor newsletter service can appreciate that kind of generosity. So let's take a closer look at four of the companies that inched their payouts higher last week.

Our first three companies are generally perceived to be "all-weather" plays, since folks need to eat. But even so, many brandsmiths have been dinged lately as consumers trade down to cheaper generics.

So let's start with H.J. Heinz (NYSE:HNZ). The ketchup king's new quarterly dividend is $0.42 a share. That's just half a cent above its previous rate, but the food giant has boosted its dividend by an impressive 56% since late 2002, when it spun off some of its businesses into what's now Del Monte (NYSE:DLM).

Then we have Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) rolling in the dough. The company knows how to make bread, judging by its popular brands, which include Nature's Own and Cobblestone Mill. Its shareholders will be making a little more bread, too. The company's new quarterly distributions of $0.175 are a 17% improvement.

SUPERVALU (NYSE:SVU) is another booster. The supermarket chain is matching Flowers Foods' $0.175-per-share payout, though it's taking only a 1% uptick to get there.

Finally, Fred's (NASDAQ:FRED) is ahead. The discount retailer's new quarterly disbursements will be $0.03 a share. That may seem like chump change, but it's 50% higher than the company's earlier rate.

Some of these moves may not seem like much, but consider the less savory moves that took place in recent days:

  • Metal-processing giant Worthington Industries (NYSE:WOR) is slashing its dividend by 41%.
  • Residential REIT UDR (NYSE:UDR) also delivered a 41% dividend cut to its investors.

Subscribers to Income Investor can appreciate the companies that send more and more money to their investors. The service singles out companies that are committed to growing their distributions with market-thumping results.

Want to see what's being recommended these days? Give Income Investor a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing to get a boost will be your interest.

Heinz is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz pays attention to yield signs. He owns no shares in any of the companies in this story and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.