Expo West 2016

Could the launch of Nut Butter Filled CLIF Bars usher in a new era for the category?

Source: CLIF Bar

Clif Bar – a company that helped transition the bar category from strictly slick slabs of finely blended ingredients to one with products made from recognizable grains and inclusions that more closely resembled real food – is at it again with a new line that promises the next evolution for the category.

In June, the company will launch a line of four organic nut butter-filled bars that are unlike any other products on the market and which are specifically designed for endurance athletes and adventurers who need sustained energy for long-distance activities.

“This is a breakthrough innovation that no one else is doing,” and it will help CLIF Bar standout among the quickly increasing competition in the nutrition and energy bar category, said Dan Hickle, VP of CLIF Bar brands.

“What we really love about the new bars though is that we’re taking two great energy sources – an organic energy bar and nut butters – and putting them together to deliver the lasting energy that we are known for providing in our flagship products,” he added at Natural Expo West in Anaheim, Calif., in mid-March.

He explained that the company was inspired to fill its traditional bars with nut butters because they are a great source of healthy fat, which some ultra-athletes are adding to their diets to encourage their bodies to use fat for energy so fewer carbohydrates are necessary.

In addition, combining the fat and protein found in nut butters with the nutrients of an energy bar helps reduce the bar’s glycemic index and slow digestion for more prolonged energy release, according to the company. This will help fuel consumers on long distance, lower intensity sports, it adds.

The nut butter filled bars complement the other products in the company’s portfolio, such as CLIF Organic Trail Mix Bars, which are better suited for snacking, and the Original CLIF Bars, which deliver quick energy for working muscles, Hickle added.

The new line also hits on-trend flavors, including peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter, coconut almond butter and chocolate hazelnut butter.

New packaging underscores line’s benefits

The packaging on the new bars deviates from the classic wrapper featuring a mountain climber and instead features a cyclist, which better symbolizes the bars’ benefits for long distance, lower intensity activities, according to the brand.

The difference also will help consumers easily tell nut butter filled bars from the original bars, which will continue to feature the iconic mountain climber.

Just like the wrapper with the mountain climber, the new design also tells a personal story about the co-founders, who love to bike the path in Italy that is depicted on the pack, added a company spokeswoman. She said the new branding is “about making a personal connection and telling a story about the company and its founders.”

But it still clearly resembles the flagship product and overarching company brand by still featuring a wide blue sky and the bold red and white company logo just like the packaging for the original bars.

“This products, and the packaging, just like the Original CLIF Bars, represents adventure, which is one of our core values and one of the reasons why people love CLIF Bar,” added Hickle.

Organic certification further differentiates bars

The new line also stands out from many competitors and several other products in the CLIF Bar portfolio by being certified USDA organic.

Hickle explained that the certification is important in the current competitive landscape in that people increasingly want products made from ingredients they recognize and whole, real foods.

“We’re really proud of the ingredients … and that there is no bad stuff in these bars. Only good stuff,” he said.

He added that providing more organic options is a priority for the company, even though not all of its products currently are certified organic.

Rather, about 73% of the ingredients CLIF Bar currently buys are organic, but it aims to reach 80% by 2020, according to the company. It explains in promotional materials that “sourcing organic ingredients is a dynamic process” and some “organic options are simply not available.”

Given the line’s premium ingredients, the bars will sell at a slightly higher price point than the original CLIF Bars at $1.25 on sales to $1.79.

The company also supported its goal of expanding its organic options by showcasing at Expo West two new flavors of its CLIF Organic Trail Mix Bars: Salted Caramel Nut and Chocolate Coconut Almond.

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Comments (4)

Sam - 25 Mar 2016 | 12:02

Half the amount of sugar as normal Clif Bars

They have around 9grams of sugar!

25-Mar-2016 at 00:02 GMT

steven - 23 Mar 2016 | 08:24

Almond Butter bars

JK Gourmet has been manufacturing paleo-friendly, grain-free, gluten-free, honey-sweetened Bars for several years. www.jkgourmet.com

23-Mar-2016 at 20:24 GMT

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