We have been following Company Longevity for more than 2 years now, it is a food company of a unique heritage. It is run by the 2nd generation family owner, whom we believe is the adopted son of the founders (quite rare but often a counterintuitive winning recipe), and for the past 50 years or so, they have been doing only one thing – healthier food.
Decades before veganism, vegetarianism, organic food, or even healthy eating were made popular by the hippy movements, Longevity has been producing healthy staple food for the entire country, they were the first to introduce 100% source to table tracing and 100% free from food additives and preservatives, both which are logistical nightmares. Their products are largely based on non-meat dishes and they grew to provide to 40% and 50% of the market in their top 2 product categories where their brand is synonymous with great health.
Specifically, they ventured into the healthier food categories not because it’s a trend that millennials now support and thus more profitable and sexy but because of their desire to produce healthier food for their own fellow mankind.
Ironically, it was actually more costly to make FMCG food last long enough without preservatives and additives, and more costly to run additional supply chain operations to ensure food safety. Indeed, while most of their peers were headed the way of maximum profits, maximum sweetness and maximum shelf lives at the expense of children’s health, Longevity went the way of maximum health – they were zigging since the 1970s when the entire world were zagging.
In the founder’s own words, “Our workers feel safe and proud to feed their children with our healthier food.”
We talked about their 3rd up-and-coming product category last year around August, codename Elixir of Life, which now accounts for about 10% of their sales and which they recently aggressively expanded production capacity for. They recently announced a price increase in most of their products and we believe the market is sleeping on them and the potential organic increment in revenue and operating income from 1) increased volume in Elixir of Life and a new 4th product category and 2) increased sales price.
You might be asking why is the market sleeping on them? Well, because these portfolio companies are generally dark horses in their small little corners, with little or no sell-side coverage because of how boring their businesses are – most aspiring analysts want to cover the next sexy thing. On the other hand, we see them for the workhorses they are.