It’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving stocks. Thanksgiving is both one of the country’s most celebrated holidays and also an important economic moment.

The term “Black Friday” came about originally because it refers to the day of the year that retailers often go from losing money to becoming profitable and being “in the black” for the year as a whole. Investors watch Thanksgiving weekend sales closely. It serves as an important barometer of metrics measurement, especially for shopping and travel for the entire winter holiday season.

So which Thanksgiving stocks hold the most appeal for 2023? These three should have investors salivating at today’s prices.

Hormel Foods (HRL)

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Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) is an American packaged foods company. It focuses on the protein market, aiming to provide customers with the proteins they want. Those range from traditional meats to organic and naturally raised ones, deli meats, nuts and nut butters, chili, and even plant-based proteins.

For Thanksgiving specifically, Hormel is America’s #2 producer of turkey, thanks to its acquisition of the Jennie-O turkey brand.

HRL stock has fallen more than 30% over the past year. That comes amid both issues relating from inflation and concerns that weight loss drugs will reduce demand for protein. For investors betting on good cheer in the food and beverage sector this holiday season, however, Hormel stock seems ripe for a comeback.

Diageo (DEO)

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Sticking with holiday spirit, the next Thanksgiving stock is a leading liquor company,U.K.-based Diageo (NYSE:DEO). Once people finish eating, the attention turns to football, shopping, games, and other family activities — often including festive adult beverages.

Diageo has a history dating back to 1759 with the founding of the Guinness brewery. In addition to Guinness, Diageo now sells Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray, Baileys, Don Julio, Ciroc, and countless other brands. Also, investors can be thankful for the firm’s generosity. Specifically, it has increased its dividend annually since 1998, making it one of the British Dividend Aristocrats.

DEO stock tumbled Friday following a downbeat revenue outlook. The company warned of weakness in the Latin American and Caribbean markets. The near-term earnings hit is a negative, to be sure. But with expected earnings of more than $8 per share going forward, shares are now going for just 17x forward earnings with the stock around $140. That’s a bargain for this high-quality, recession-proof company.

Dollar General (DG)

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Shopping is another time-honored Thanksgiving tradition. Given the weakening state of the economy heading into 2024, however, some people may be looking to stretch their dollar this holiday season.

That brings us to Dollar General (NYSE:DG). In fact, shares of the discount retailer have lost half of their value over the past year. The company has run into some issues with its stores’ operations and finding and retaining qualified employees. Additionally, the company warned that its core demographic has pulled back on spending thanks to a dip in the economy.

Regardless, discount stores should be positioned to succeed during an upcoming recession. And a downturn in the economy may make it easier for DG to find capable staff for its stores. Dollar General has typically traded with a fairly lofty P/E ratio. But it’s on sale for less than 17x forward earnings, thanks to the stock price’s recent decline.

On the date of publication, Ian Bezek held a long position in DEO, HRL, and DG stock. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Ian Bezek has written more than 1,000 articles for InvestorPlace.com and Seeking Alpha. He also worked as a Junior Analyst for Kerrisdale Capital, a $300 million New York City-based hedge fund. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek.

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