NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Food scarcity concerns are heating up and food inflation is increasing alarmingly worldwide. A booming population, shrinking arable lands, rapid industrialization in emerging economies and changing weather patterns around the world could trigger unprecedented food price hikes. Given this scenario, the following food and beverage stocks could provide attractive returns during 2011.

Besides receiving analysts' highest buy ratings of 82%-100%, these stocks are expected to gain up to 139% over the next 12 months with a mean upside value of around 62%, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg.

In comparison, Kraft Foods ( KFT), Monsanto ( MON), Coca-Cola ( KO), Archer Daniels Midland ( ADM), and Kellogg ( K) have upsides of 4%-13% and buy ratings of 37%-81%.

Although stocks such as SkyPeople Fruit Juice ( SPU), AgFreed Industries ( FEED), China Nutrifruit Group ( CNGL), Synutra International ( SYUT), and G Willi-Ford International ( WILC) have 100% buy ratings and impressive upsides, we did not consider them here as only a couple of analysts cover these stocks.

These 10 food and beverage stocks are stacked in the ascending order of percentage of buy ratings and, in case of a tie-up, by implied percentage upside.

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