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In an era where physical stores are under serious threat from online merchants, Kroger (KR) remains a brick-and-mortar beast.

In 2022, the company’s same-store sales without fuel increased by 5.6%.

The economy moves in cycles, but people always need to shop for food. As a result, Kroger can make money through our economy’s ups and downs.

You can see Kroger’s resilience in its dividend history: the company has increased its payout to shareholders for 16 consecutive years.

Paying a quarterly dividend of 26 cents per share, Kroger offers an annual yield of 2.3%.

As of Dec. 31, 2022, Berkshire owned 50,000,000 shares of the company.

Read more: Here's how much money the average middle-class American household makes — how do you stack up?

Johnson & Johnson

With deeply entrenched positions in consumer health, pharmaceuticals and medical devices markets, healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has delivered consistent returns to investors throughout economic cycles.

Many of the company’s consumer health brands — such as Tylenol, Band-Aid, and Listerine — are household names. In total, JNJ has 29 products each capable of generating over $1 billion in annual sales.

Not only does Johnson & Johnson post recurring annual profits, but it also grows them consistently: Over the past 20 years, Johnson & Johnson’s adjusted earnings have increased at an average annual rate of 8%.

The stock has been trending up for decades, all while returning an increasing amount of cash to shareholders. JNJ announced its 60th consecutive annual dividend increase last April and now yields 2.9%.

At the end of December, Buffett’s company held 327,100 shares of JNJ.

Procter & Gamble

Berkshire also owned 315,400 shares of Procter & Gamble (PG) at the end of 2022 — a company with an even longer dividend growth track record than JNJ.

P&G announced a 5% dividend increase in April 2022, marking its 66th consecutive annual payout increase. The stock currently offers an annual dividend yield of 2.6%.

It’s easy to see why the company is able to maintain such a streak.

P&G is a consumer staples giant with a portfolio of trusted brands like Bounty paper towels, Crest toothpaste, Gillette razor blades, and Tide detergent. These are products that households buy on a regular basis, regardless of what the economy is doing.

While shares have slipped around 8% in 2023, they are still up 74% over the last five years.

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About the Author

Jing Pan

Jing Pan

Investment Reporter

Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. He is an avid advocate of investing for passive income. Despite the ups and downs he’s been through with the markets, Jing believes that you can generate a steadily increasing income stream by investing in high quality companies.

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