NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The evolving landscape of emerging economies, demographic changes in North America and tightening health regulations are all expected to provide a handful of consumer staple stocks an edge in 2011. We highlighted six of these stocks.

On the following page, we will offer a

poll asking which will consumer stock will outperform the sector in 2011

. But first, let's summarize how the major players in the sector performed in 2010....

>>6 Top Consumer Goods Stocks: 2011 Preview

Consumer Staples Overbought, Says Manager

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Standard & Poor's analyst Esther Kwon estimates that

Coca-Cola Company

(KO) - Get Report

will generate more than 20% of its revenue from developing countries in 2011. "People miss the fact that they have a bunch of different brands, that they can grow in these countries as well," she said. In 1997, Coca-Cola only had five brands exceeding $1 billion in sales at the retail level. That number has grown to 13 in 2010.

>>6 Top Consumer Goods Stocks: 2011 Preview

>>Consumer Staples Overbought, Says Manager

>>5 Top Consumer Stocks of 2010

Although investors have focused much of their attention on Coca-Cola Company's purchase of bottler

Coca-Cola Enterprises'


North American operations for $3.4 billion this year, Kwon continues to factor in the company's huge international footprint.

In a client note, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Mark Swartzberg says to expect the company to begin introducing new product package sizes in North America in the coming months to give consumers more options, as well as to increase the average selling price per liter of drink.

Deutsche Bank analyst Christina McGlone says

Corn Products International

( CPO) is evolving as a more diverse company through its recent acquisition of National Starch. The analyst estimates that it will add 65 cents to 75 cents to 2011 earnings per share, excluding synergies, and up to 80 cents, assuming $10 million in synergies. Even without National Starch, S&P analyst Tom Graves says he views Corn Products enthusiastically because of its global operations. As greater earnings power and urban migration increase in the developing markets, changing diets and lifestyles inevitably kick in as well, and that could be advantageous to Corn Products.

As the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) continues to tighten its grip on the shrinking tobacco industry and limit its ability to innovate and market products,


(MO) - Get Report

, the biggest of the group, continues to generate steady returns; after all, the tighter the oversight, the more difficult it would be for new competitors to enter the market, which helps Altria remain as the biggest of the group.

In fact, S&P's Kwon said there probably aren't going to be any new competitors anytime soon. "That's probably one of the reasons they've been supportive of FDA oversight," as others sued citing first amendment violations relating to issues such as the FDA's push for larger, more graphic warning labels, Kwon notes of Altria. "The thesis is basically anything that restricts innovation or marketing is going to help the leader, which is Altria."

UBS analyst Nik Modi tells clients that tobacco stocks provide a "legitimate" hedge on inflationary pressures.

Food leader

General Mills

(GIS) - Get Report

, like other food producers, is expected to face higher raw materials costs going forward. But according to S&P's Graves, General Mills should manage these costs well. "My sense is it's a company that's going to benefit going forward from an emphasis on providing products for demographic groups that have a growing presence." Who are these groups? They include older U.S. consumers who are becoming more price conscious and seeking inexpensive food products such as cereals. They also include consumers from the rapidly urbanizing markets of the developing world, who are increasingly seeking the convenience of packaged foods.

RBC analyst Edward Aaron continues to favor the company within the highly competitive packaged food sector. However, he cautions that the company's second-quarter results will likely be roughly in line with, if not slightly lower than, the Street consensus estimate.

Major livestock seller and producer

Tyson Foods

(TSN) - Get Report

will benefit from increased protein demand overseas as developing market customers experience a growth in earnings power, says Graves. Meanwhile Morningstar analyst Erin Swanson notes in her report that Tyson Food bears continue to question the firm's effectiveness in generating returns on invested capital in light of retired chairman Don Tyson's 70% control over the firm's voting stock.

>>6 Top Consumer Goods Stocks: 2011 Preview

>>Consumer Staples Overbought, Says Manager

>>5 Top Consumer Stocks of 2010

"Above-average earnings growth consistency and great earnings prospects" are the reasons why colleagues Kwon and Graves hold a favorable view of

Church & Dwight

(CHD) - Get Report

. Well-known Church & Dwight brands include Arm & Hammer, Brillo Scrub Free and Delicare.

Church & Dwight stock is liked by analysts for its steady earnings growth, but it certainly isn't as strong dividend-wise. With a forward annual dividend yield of 1%, "Church & Dwight is not a dividend stock," says Graves. RBC Capital analyst Jason Gere says the stock should continue to be one of the better EPS growth stories in 2011, but he doesn't see a need to jump into it in the near-term, especially since domestic consumer staple names may be receiving less attention than the multinational ones at the moment.

>>6 Top Consumer Goods Stocks: 2011 Preview

Investors, in light of

these previews of the coming year in consumer goods stocks,

which stock do you think is poised to outperform the consumer goods sector? Take our poll below to see what



-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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>>6 Top Consumer Goods Stocks: 2011 Preview

>>Consumer Staples Overbought, Says Manager

>>5 Top Consumer Stocks of 2010

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