The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which consumer goods editor and analyst Austin Smith discusses topics across the investing world.

In today's edition, Austin discusses Archer Daniels Midland's recent net income drop and what it means for investors. We've seen lower export volume and rising commodity costs, which are certainly going to hurt a lot of companies in the consumer goods space. But that doesn't mean there aren't ways to play it. Austin discusses the thing investors need to look for if they're investing in this sector in 2012.

Austin Smith has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Archer Daniels Midland Company, Starbucks, and Whole Foods Market. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Starbucks and Whole Foods Market. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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.