In 1990, Gary Erickson set out on a day-long, 170-mile bike ride. He had packed a number of energy bars, but soon realized that most were unappetizing and unfulfilling. So he spent the next six months in his mother’s kitchen pursuing a better bar. He eventually settled on a recipe which he named after his father, Clifford – the person who had introduced him to outdoor adventure and urged him to follow his passions – and the CLIF Bar was born. In 2000, CLIF Bars walked away from a $120 million offer from Quaker Oats to buy the company, choosing to keep it family-owned, but in 2010 rolled out an employee stock ownership program (ESOP) which gave its employees 20 percent ownership in the company.
Today, CLIF Bar & Company offers a variety of great tasting products, crafted with wholesome, sustainably sourced, organic ingredients. In 2016, the company opened the doors of a state-of-the-art bakery that allows it to produce delicious food in an environmentally-friendly facility. Its current line includes the original signature CLIF Bar, as well as a variety of other energy bars tailored toward different demographic markets. It also has a sports drink, fruit-based items, and a squeezable energy food.
- Sheridan Fifer