Clif Bar & Company is a good green company making organic and tasty snacks your family will enjoy. Plus this company has outstanding community ethics in place and are focused on maintaining and growing their eco-friendly company policies.
BASICS: According to Clif Bar & Company, one day back in 1990, Gary Erickson set off on a one-day, 175-mile bicycle ride with his buddy Jay and packed six energy bars for the ride. However, once hunger actually set in, Gary realized that he just couldn’t eat another unappetizing, sticky, hard-to-digest energy bar and right then and there decided to create what’s now the ever-popular CLIF BAR.
Gary and his mom experimented with recipes and finally they came up with a nutritionally sound, good tasting bar. In 1992, Gary launched the CLIF BAR company and their bars instantly became a hit with cyclists and climbers, among other active folks. Renamed Clif Bar Inc. in 1997, the Company was ranked one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies by Inc. magazine each year from 1997 to 2001.
Currently the company, now known as Clif Bar & Company, features a large portfolio of great-tasting, all-natural and organic products, including…
- CLIF Bar – the original, now with 70% organic ingredients and plenty of flavors to choose from.
- CLIF Kid, a complete line of organic, great-tasting and portable snacks for kids such as CLIF Kid Organic ZBaRs made with zero processed sugars or corn syrup and CLIF Kid Organic Twisted Fruit snacks, of which each serving is the equivalent of one whole serving of fruit and a good source of vitamin C. They too, have no processed sugars or corn syrup added.
- LUNA, a whole nutrition bar for women.
- CLIF Quench, an 88% organic, natural alternative to conventional electrolyte drinks on the market.
- Organic CLIF Nectar bars, loaded with fiber and potassium plus 1/2 cup of fruit.
- And more. See Clif Bar & Company’s full product line-up.
ECO COMPANY PERKS:
- Company uses organic ingredients in all of its products and purchases 23 million pounds of organic ingredients a year. All CLIF vendors must maintain 100% compliance with the USDA’s National Organic Programs (NOP) and meet or exceed any state or federal regulations.
- Clif Bar & Company is moving towards “zero waste,” the Company diverts approximately 70 percent of its waste from local landfills through reduction, recycling and composting.
- Uses only unbleached, 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper at its Berkeley headquarters.
- Offers vegan products – All CLIF Bar products are made with animal-free ingredients except most Mojo flavors (contains organic honey), and CLIF SHOT Recovery Drink and Luna Sport Recovery Smoothie (contains whey).
- Has offset the company’s CO2 emissions (including historical emissions since the company’s start in 1992) through partnering with NativeEnergy to help build farmer-owned wind turbines. So far, Clif has offset more than 30,000 tons of CO2 (this is the equivalent of taking 5100 cars off the road for a year).
- Supports the Cascade Sierra Solutions Trucking Efficiency Project which provides owner-operators of heavy-duty diesel trucks with fuel efficiency education and custom upgrades that save fuel and reduce greenhouse gases.
- Since 2002, Clif Bar & Company has used only 100% post consumer recycled paperboard and as of 2007, packaged caddies are 98% shrink wrap free. CLIF Quench is packaged in a 40% post-consumer recycled bottle.
- Clif’s Cool Commute program helps employees buy hybrid or biodiesel cars for a cleaner commute.
- Through Clif Bar & Company’s Cool Commute and Cool Home programs Clif Bar employees receive cash incentives to reduce the environmental impact of their commutes and their homes. Employees who participate in the program can receive a $6500 taxable incentive to apply to the purchase of a biodiesel or hybrid vehicle; up to $500 for the purchase of a commuter bicycle; and up to $1000 annually towards eco-friendly improvements to their homes.
- Employees who take public transportation, carpool, walk or bike to work, receive incentives in the form of commuter checks, gift certificates and other rewards.
HEALTHY & HAPPY COMPANY PERKS:
- Clif Bar & Company hasn’t sold out. They’re an independent company and I’m hoping they stay this way – trust me independence is a big deal. You’d be surprised who owns the organics you’re buying.
- Offers FULL ingredient and nutritional disclosure at their website and on all packaging.
- The company sources ingredients that are not genetically engineered.
- CLIF products are MSG free, trans fats/hydrogenated oils free and high fructose corn syrup free.
- Products have natural, not chemical flavoring, made with a proprietary blend of plants based ingredients such as leaves, spices, berries, fruit skins, and beans.
- Ingredients and finished products must pass rigorous food safety tests above and beyond FDA standards and meet strict parameters for appropriate quality, microbiological and chemical standards.
- They test for pathogens in ingredients and finished goods and have a zero tolerance for Salmonella
- CLIF Kid volunteers help the Growing Youth Farm program, organized by the Alameda Point Collaborative near Clif Bar & Company’s main office. Together they have created gardens, a barn, an aquaculture area, an orchard and teaching facilities. Eventually, the kids hope to grow enough food to sell on the public market.
- In addition to sustainability benefits, Clif Bar employees enjoy nationally recognized workplace benefits. Employees have access to an onsite fitness center and personal trainers, and concierge services such as hair cuts, car washes and organic produce delivery. Employees can opt in to a flexible workweek schedule and are encouraged to participate in volunteer opportunities during the workday and to work out on company time. Employees also enjoy a sabbatical program, financial assistance for first-time home buyers and dependent care assistance. Dogs and babies are welcome in the office, and casual dress is encouraged daily.
- In 2009 alone, Clif Bar & Company donated $1.3 million in product to communities and organizations in need.
As always I looked for some company cons – but found few. I was actually surprised at how much I liked this company. I’m not an energy bar fan myself. The main reason I’m writing this review is because Cedar, my son, LOVES their organic Organic ZBaRs and I’m doing a review soon. However, I knew little about this company. They really surprised me, not only with their health and organic standards but their awesome community outreach.
If I had to list some cons…
Not all products meet USDA Organic standards. Their kids products do meet USDA Organic standards, which is nice, but not all. Still, if you look at the chart on their soul food page, you’ll see they’re making a huge effort to improve the amount of organics they use.
I’m not a fan of their Twisted Fruit products. For one, I think kids can eat real fruit. For two, real fruit doesn’t come with wrappers – which recycled or not still require material and energy. Cedar likes their Twisted Fruit, but I won’t usually buy them since we have real fruit at home. This isn’t actually anything against this company in particular. I don’t like other organic fruit snacks much either – in fact soon I’ll post a recipe for some homemade fruit snacks (wrapper free!).
4.5 out of 5 little trees. If this company made all their products full on USDA Organic I’d likely have given them 5 trees. I searched around to see if I could find any skeletons in their company closet, but couldn’t find anything. From all I’ve seen this appears to be a company you can trust. Their products won’t fill you or your family with chemicals you don’t need and they maintain some killer eco and community ethics.
Stay tuned because I’ll be reviewing CLIF Kid Organic ZBaRs soon.
- Visit the Clif Bar & Company website.
- Join Clif Bar & Company on Facebook.
- Read their blog.
- Visit the Clif Bar & Company online store or purchase Clif Bars in bulk at Amazon.