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Why has the Coles share price outperformed the ASX 200 by more than 10% in 2022 so far?

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The Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) share price has so far fended off the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO)’s year to date tumble, recording a decent gain for the first eight months of 2022.

The supermarket operator’s stock is currently swapping hands for $18.85. That’s 4.84% more than it was trading for at the start of this year. Meanwhile, the ASX 200 has dumped 6.85% in 2022 so far.

That leaves the supermarket stock having outperformed the broader market by nearly 12% year to date.

Could inflation ­– one of the major weights on the market this year ­– be providing a boost for the Coles share price? Let’s take a look.

It’s been a rough year on the market, but one sector has managed to bypass much of the suffering. The S&P/ASX 200 Consumer Staples Index (ASX: XSJ) has traded relatively flat so far this year.

And within the sector, the Coles share price is relishing. In fact, it hit an all-time high of $19.28 yesterday.

Its strong performance has come as the company is heralded as an inflationary winner.

Brokers have tipped the supermarket operator as an inflation-resistant buy as it sells, well, staples, as my Fool colleague Sebastian reported earlier this week. Consumers can’t choose to skip the supermarket trip due to rising inflation.

Additionally, the market has driven the Coles share price higher every time the company has released news this year.

Its stock surged 3% when it dropped its half year earnings in February. It lifted another 0.6% on the back of the company’s third quarter results.

There’s also been exciting non-market related news from the supermarket giant this year.

Coles announced it would offer Canberra-based customers the option to have goods delivered by drone in March and will soon open its first ever Liquorland in Tasmania.

And in more exciting news, brokers are tipping the Coles share price to keep rising.

Citi has a buy rating and a $19.30 price target on Coles’ shares, while Morgans has slapped them with an add rating and a $20.65 price target, my Fool colleague James reports.

Both brokers are also expecting Coles to up its dividends over the coming years.

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