The food and beverage industry is more than the battle of Coke vs. Pepsi. Granted, those giants rank among the most-watched companies in the industry, but there are hundreds of other players here that investors are keeping tabs on, making the food and beverage industry among the most-watched. And now we're able to determine the one company that is garnering the most attention.

People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service now 3 months old, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

Looking at the aggregate data, we can see that Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) is, not surprisingly, the runaway leader in terms of watch interest, the percentage of people keeping an eye on the food and beverage industry in general who are specifically watching each company. As Fool analyst Rex Moore recently told me, "It's a true set-and-forget stock. You're not waiting for a catalyst, you don't have to watch for changes to its business model. Coke is Coke."

Rex made the company the first purchase in his Rising Stars portfolio, following Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel's approach of pursuing corporate El Dorados, established organizations that can anchor a portfolio for decades. Coke is probably not going to be cheap -- Siegel wrote in The Future for Investors that we should be willing to pay 20 to 30 times earnings for the solidity and stability of El Dorados -- but there are times when shares are more appealing than others. And that's probably why 28.5% of food-and-beverage watchers are watching Coke -- just waiting for a better buying opportunity.

Here are the rest of the top five most-watched companies in the industry with their watch interest along with the stocks' CAPS rating (out of five possible stars) to show the sentiment of our free investing community.


Market Cap
(in Millions)

CAPS Rating

Watch Interest





Boston Beer (NYSE: SAM)




PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP)




Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR)




Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT)




Sandwiched among industry giants, Boston Beer and Green Mountain look a little out of place. Both have rabid fan bases --Boston Beer for its Sam Adams craft brews, Green Mountain for its Keurig one-cup coffee brewers -- and both boast share prices significantly higher than they were only a few months ago. The former saw its share price climb 14% in intraday trading a couple of weeks ago after it raised its guidance significantly, and shares are up more than 100% over the past year.

Green Mountain's ride has been bumpier and not all are enamored of the rule-breaking company and its K-Cups. As Jim Gillies told me, "At best, this is a soon-to-be-debt-laden over-growing train wreck waiting to happen. At worst, it's accounting fraud. The company's dealing with fictional earnings. There's no cash flow underlying its earnings."

Whether you're interested in an El Dorado like Coke, Pepsi, or Kraft, or want to jump on an up-and-comer like Boston Beer or Green Mountain, it pays to watch. You can make smarter investing decisions with your own version of My Watchlist, free from the Fool. Click below to start following one of the stocks mentioned above:

Roger Friedman doesn't own shares of any of the companies mentioned, but they do make him thirsty. Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Green Mountain is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Boston Beer is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor choice. Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are Motley Fool Income Investor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on PepsiCo. The Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.