United Natural Foods (NASDAQ: UNFI) and SuperValu (NYSE:SVU) are both small-cap consumer staples companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, risk and dividends.


This table compares United Natural Foods and SuperValu’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
United Natural Foods 1.38% 8.21% 4.46%
SuperValu 4.46% 220.54% 2.55%

Volatility & Risk

United Natural Foods has a beta of 1.39, suggesting that its stock price is 39% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, SuperValu has a beta of 2.11, suggesting that its stock price is 111% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for United Natural Foods and SuperValu, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
United Natural Foods 3 8 3 0 2.00
SuperValu 0 4 2 0 2.33

United Natural Foods currently has a consensus target price of $40.85, indicating a potential upside of 11.69%. SuperValu has a consensus target price of $33.60, indicating a potential upside of 69.44%. Given SuperValu’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe SuperValu is more favorable than United Natural Foods.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares United Natural Foods and SuperValu’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
United Natural Foods $9.15 billion 0.20 $316.02 million $2.49 14.69
SuperValu $12.72 billion 0.06 $461.00 million $16.03 1.24

SuperValu has higher revenue and earnings than United Natural Foods. SuperValu is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than United Natural Foods, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


SuperValu beats United Natural Foods on 8 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About United Natural Foods

United Natural Foods, Inc. is a distributor and retailer of natural, organic and specialty products. The Company’s segments include Wholesale and Other. The Wholesale segment is engaged in the national distribution of natural, organic and specialty foods, produce and related products in the United States and Canada. The Other segment includes a retail division, which engages in the sale of natural foods and related products to the general public through retail storefronts on the east coast of the United States; a manufacturing division, which engages in importing, roasting and packaging of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and snack items, and its branded product lines. Its operations consist of three operating divisions: Wholesale Division, Retail Division, and Manufacturing and Branded Products divisions. As of July 30, 2016, the Company had offered 100,000 natural, organic and specialty foods, and non-food products, consisting of national, regional and private-label brands.

About SuperValu

Supervalu Inc. is a wholesale distributor to independent retail customers across the United States. The Company’s segments include Wholesale and Retail. The Company offers a range of advertised brand name and private-label products, including grocery (both perishable and nonperishable), general merchandise and home, health and beauty care, and pharmacy, which are sold through Company-operated and licensed Retail stores to shoppers and through its Wholesale segment to independent retail customers. The Company’s Wholesale segment provides wholesale distribution of products to independent retail customers. Wholesale is organized and operated through two geographic regions: East and West. As of February 27, 2016, the Company conducted its Retail operations through a total of 200 stores primarily organized under five regionally-based retail banners of Cub Foods, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, Shop ‘n Save, Farm Fresh and Hornbacher’s, as well as two Rainbow and two County Market stores.

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