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Tate & Lyle should be sweet choice for income investors

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Changing tastes doesn't dim the income appeal of Tate & Lyle. This heritage firm has carved out a role at the heart of the modern food industry and delivered 21 years of unbroken dividend payouts.

Bakers, syrup users and those who pile sugar into their tea might think that the Tate & Lyle (LON: TATE) brand needs no introduction. But the branded products you see in supermarkets are no longer part of this business.

Former boss Javed Ahmed sold the group's sugar refining operations in a £211m deal in 2010. Today, FTSE 250 member Tate & Lyle focuses on the faster-growing business of providing sweeteners and other specialist ingredients for the food industry.

We believe this strategic shift has worked well. For investors seeking building a hands-off income portfolio, we'd argue that Tate & Lyle's attractive yield and 21-year dividend streak mean the stock deserves a closer look.

A 160-year story

The firm's history can be traced back to 1859, when Henry Tate went into the sugar refining business in Liverpool. Tate lost no time in innovating to capture market share in what was a fragmented and fast-growing sector. He introduced sugar cubes to the UK in 1875, and…

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