If you've never heard of kefir, Lifeway Foods
Best described as a sort of drinkable yogurt, the company came to be when Russian immigrant Michael Smolyanksy found that no one was stocking the beverage, which is richer than conventional yogurt in healthy microorganisms. His daughter, Julie Smolyansky, took over the company's helm after her father passed away.
She has served her father's concept well, broadening the product's reach further into retail outlets. Look around your local grocer's refrigerated dairy section and you may just stumble across Lifeway Kefir.
In a move that may open the company's distribution beyond its retail stronghold, a health-care facility began testing the product. Pitching its healthy attributes to patients undergoing antibiotic treatments, this could be yet another strong growth avenue for Lifeway in the future.
However, that doesn't mean that the retail angle has been played out just yet. Earlier this year, the company introduced its beverages into Target
Accelerating sales are a sign of a rising growth stock and Lifeway's got that. Sales were up just 10% last year before this year's sequential growth spurt improvements. The company is highly profitable. It has been sporting double-digit net profit margins for a few years now. That's worth noting -- larger giants of the dairy shelves like Kraft
Lifeway may not seem cheap on an earnings multiple basis. It fetches more than 30 times next year's profit estimates. However, it's a company worth watching; you'd be hard-pressed to find too many food companies growing at a healthier clip than Lifeway these days. That kind of heady growth is often rewarded with even richer multiples down the road.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves digging for small growth stocks with potential. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.