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Consumer staples are often found in many dividend seekers’ portfolios. After all, no matter what the economic climate, you still need to buy toilet paper or wash your dishes. And while job loss or other economic issues may cause you to trade down, you’re still buying toothpaste. As a result, many consumer staples stocks feature steady cash flows and clockwork-like dividends.

But their flashier and more economically sensitive cousins – discretionary names – are often absent from many dividend portfolios.

That’s a real shame. It turns out that these stocks are just as good for your dividend dollar and could see better total returns in the current environment. For income seekers, adding a dose of consumer discretionary stocks could do your portfolio some good.

Use the Dividend Screener to research sectors and industries that contain these discretionary stocks. Research more than 15 parameters. Download data for your own custom analysis.

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If a purveyor of laundry soap like Procter & Gamble (PG ) represents the ‘needs’ of society, then a firm like Starbucks (SBUX ) is very much a want. No one needs a $5 cup of coffee, but it’s nice to have. And that sums up the main difference between staples and discretionary names. As a result of the difference, SBUX is tied more closely to the overall business and consumer environment.

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