The Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF selects consumer staple stocks from the broader MSCI US Investable Market 2500 Index, including company stocks from food, beverage, tobacco, nondurable goods, drug retailer and consumer supercenters, but the ETF excludes automotive and leisure firms. VDC has a 0.14% expense ratio.

The First Trust Consumer Staples AlphaDEX fund follows a so-called smart-beta index that selects components from the Russell 1000 based on growth factors like price appreciation, sales/price and one-year sales growth, along with value factors like book-value-to-price, cash-flow-to-price and return on assets. Additionally, holdings are equally weighted, so the ETF has a larger tilt toward mid-cap companies, which make up 62.9% of the fund. FXG has a 0.70% expense ratio. [Super Staples ETFs]

“In general, people buy consumer staples products regardless of the economic climate,” according to Morningstar analyst Robert Goldsborough. “As a result… holdings generally have stable revenue growth and cash flows.”

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR

For more information on market sectors, visit our sector ETFs category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.