Expectations for better earnings growth has been one reason consumer staples are up 16 percent this year, making the S&P 500's 9 percent gain look rather ordinary in comparison. Some stocks, such as General Mills, have done even better—up more than 20 percent so far this year.
"We have a market expectation for just 2 percent EPS growth this year," said Gina Martin Adams of Wells Fargo. "Staples probably will produce 5 percent EPS growth."
Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have reported better-than-anticipated results. That growth came despite a stronger dollar denting overseas profits and faltering emerging markets growth. A stronger dollar reduces the value of revenues booked overseas.
Although there was concern Coke's volume and revenue could disappoint considering potential weakness in Brazil and the U.S., the company beat expectations. And even a recession in Europe didn't derail business there.
(Read More: Coca-Cola Beats Estimates, Boosted by Emerging Market Sales)
"Volumes were flat" in Europe, JPMorgan analyst John Faucher told CNBC. "They've just got so many economic headwinds, flat is not that bad."
Fresh off a "transition year," Pepsi also beat analyst forecasts. CFO Hugh Johnston told CNBC that price increases helped boost profit margins during the quarter, while an expanded snack portfolio is doing very well in China.
(Read More: Pepsi Tops Earnings Estimates, Stands by 2013 Outlook)