As an investor, it doesn't pay to follow the crowd.

In this series, though, we highlight a possible exception -- the collective wisdom of our CAPS community. Read the next section if you're unfamiliar with our methodology. Skip it if you want to go straight to the results.

Why this crowd is different
Jumping into a stock because your rich neighbor did, or because you heard about it from your friend's uncle who used to work on Wall Street, or because CNBC has been talking about it nonstop is a recipe for disaster.

If there's one thing I've learned as a stock analyst, it's that any stock can be gussied up to sound like a world-beater. If there's a second thing I've learned, it's that being a smart person doesn't make you a good investor.

In the hands of a smart person with good communication skills, the never-were and never-will-be stocks sound like tickets to instant fortune. The ancient Greek philosophers made the distinction between rhetoric and knowledge. The former is convincing; the latter is true.

That's why we factor in track record in our Motley Fool CAPS community. We invite everyone to give stocks an outperform (akin to a "buy" call) or underperform rating (akin to a "sell" call) in CAPS. We then use those opinions to calculate a rating for each stock -- from one to five stars (five being the best). But -- and this is a big distinction -- we give more weight to the opinions of folks whose picks have performed well in the past.

The most popular food and drink high yielders
So, with that methodology as prelude, I present to you the top four- and five-star-rated food and drink stocks that yield 3% or more that have garnered the most outperform ratings by CAPS members. I used a minimum market capitalization of $100 million and the proviso that it must be listed on a major U.S. exchange. Remember, stocks are rated on a five-star scale by our CAPS community, so four- and five-star stocks are consensus outperforms.

Company Name

Market Capitalization
(in millions)

P/E Ratio

Dividend Yield

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Outperform Picks

Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO)

$129,059

17.6

3.1%

****

    5,263

PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP)

$102,106

16.6

3.0%

*****

    3,919

Diageo (NYSE: DEO)

$46,208

16.7

4.5%

*****

    2,318

Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT)

$52,165

11

3.9%

****

    2,260

General Mills (NYSE: GIS)

$23,223

16.1

3.1%

****

     968

Unilever (NYSE: UL)

$80,341

188.5

4.1%

*****

     749

Cal-Maine Foods (Nasdaq: CALM)

$636

10.5

4.0%

****

     709

Source: Motley Fool CAPS. NM= not meaningful.

Soda pop dominators Coke and Pepsi lead this list of food and drinks, with Coke earning highest honors. However, Pepsi is a five-star stock while Coke has just four stars. For the harder stuff, liquor maker Diageo follows right behind with its own five-star rating.

Many of these stocks are solid companies that are great for buying on dips. Which is your favorite? Make your thoughts known in CAPS by clicking here. Or just go there to do further research on one of these stocks.

Anand Chokkavelu doesn't own shares of any company mentioned. Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Unilever is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. Diageo, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Unilever are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on PepsiCo. The Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola and Diageo. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.