The only hope left to save these old food dogs

It has become increasingly clear to Jim Cramer that the natural and organic movement has taken over not only Whole Foods, but the entire food industry. And now it's time to get on board the natural boat or drown.

Yet the "Mad Money" host is puzzled as to how Kellogg, Campbell's and ConAgra could simply refuse to evolve with this dramatic change in the food industry.

"They reek of our parents' pantries. ConAgra's almost a 'Saturday Night Live' parody of brands. The kind that we used to see snapped up on 'Supermarket Sweep' when they couldn't find the hams!" Cramer said.

Clueless? Desperate? Or just plain irrelevant?

Jim Cramer on set of Mad Money
CNBC

These companies can write "new and improved" all over their packages and come up with different small changes on their products, but it simply won't work. Consumers want natural and organic, and that must be acknowledged.

Cramer thinks they know it, too, and are choosing not to evolve. He speculates that when consumers hear these brand names, they link them to the old days. Thus, they will not be able to create any sustainable growth going forward.

"These stocks have become total fixed-income vehicles, and if that's satisfying to them, I get it."

Kellogg’s Raisin Bran brand breakfast cereal sits on display in a supermarket in Princeton, Ill.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Kellogg’s Raisin Bran brand breakfast cereal sits on display in a supermarket in Princeton, Ill.

At this point the only option that these laggard food companies have is to invest in growth. Hain Celestial and WhiteWave are two great growth companies in the food business that Cramer loves.

They both jumped double digits in the past year, and Cramer sees plenty of dollar signs ahead for them as they meet the need for parents to feed their kids food that is both healthy and tasty.

"The only answer for these companies is to buy either Hain or WhiteWave and just plain reinvent themselves on the fly," said Cramer.

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Otherwise, it will be dog days ahead for these old-dog companies. The "Mad Money" host foresees one disappointing quarter after another for them, and a once in a while, a surprise when they underestimate guidance.

"Are they smug? Are they satisfied? Are they clueless? Or are they desperate? Maybe a little bit of all four? You know what they really are? One word—irrelevant."

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