It’s CLIF Bar’s 20th anniversary, and we sat down earlier in the year for a long chat with co-founder Gary Erickson. While the energy food manufacturer celebrated this milestone in May with the launch of a limited edition CLIF Bar flavor called Panforte, they’ve got more up their sleeves, with eight new flavors and a line of Kit's Organics.
Panforte, which will sell through fall 2012, is inspired and named after the ‘strong bread’ (the Italian meaning of Panforte, a sweet spice infused bread), which CLIF co-founder Gary Erickson would enjoy on his epic treks through the Italian Dolomites.
On Tuesday, CLIF launched eight new flavors, spread over the Builders, Bloks and Crunch product lines. CLIF also launched Kit’s Organics, a 100-percent organic, minimally processed line of four snack bars.
Kit Crawford is Gary Erickson’s partner in life and business. She’s a CLIF Bar co-owner and is deeply passionate about organic foods. The new line that bears her name is simple (4-5 ingredients per bar), tasty and super healthy. Their consistency is much like a Lara bar, however, Chris Randall, CLIF’s Shot brand manager, noted that they’re 100-percent organic, whereas their competitor is not. The 200-calorie bars are also gluten-, soy- and dairy-free. CLIF, and Kit, offer four flavors: cashew, berry almond, chocolate almond coconut, and peanut butter. Kit’s bars are exclusively sold through specialty retailers — bike shops and running stores — one of CLIF’s ways to mark their heritage, said Randall.
CLIF have a new Blok flavor hot out of the kitchen called chocolate-cherry, which mimics the Shot flavor of the same name. The flavor is so new it doesn't yet have packaging. “The challenge is balancing the inherently acidic base with the chocolate flavor,” said Randall of the new flavor.
We found the chocolate-cherry block wasn’t what we expected. The chocolate flavor isn’t even perceptible until five or six chews in, and even still it’s quite subtle.
The new Bloks pack 50mg of caffeine per three-block serving, and have six blocks per pack.
CLIF's 10 new flavors plus Panforte
CLIF’s protein bar, Builders, gets three new flavors: s’mores, crunchy peanut butter, and chocolate chip. The bars pack 20g of protein and are 50-percent organic. “People are in tune with the before, during, and after message,” Randall said. “They’re also understanding that they’re not getting the protein they need throughout the day.”
Finally, CLIF added two new Crunch granola-type flavors last fall, chocolate peanut butter and blueberry crisp. All of the Crunch bars have chips of some sort to increase their moisture content.
“We try to offer a variety of flavors and textures, so that our über-users — those who eat more than a half dozen bars a week — have something exciting and new to keep them interested,” said Randall.