|Headquarters||Emeryville, California, United States|
|Key people||Gary Erickson, Kit Crawford (Co-Owners and Co-CVOs), Kevin Cleary (CEO), Michelle Ferguson (Executive Vice President of Marketing)|
|Products||Energy Bars and Snacks|
Clif Bar & Company is an American company that produces organic foods and drinks marketed to active people. The company's flagship product, CLIF Bar, was created by Gary Erickson. The company is based in Emeryville, California and is privately held. In April 2013, Kevin Cleary was named CEO of the company; co-owners Erickson and Kit Crawford became co-chief visionary officers.
Clif Bar products include CLIF Bar energy bar; LUNA, The Whole Nutrition Bar for Women; and CLIF Kid, Nourishing Kids in Motion. All products use organic ingredients. Seventy percent of the company's purchased ingredients are certified organic.
A baker and former mountain guide, Erickson got the idea for his product in 1990 on a day-long, 175 mile bike ride, for which he packed a variety of energy bars. Two years later after experimenting in his mother's kitchen, he settled on a recipe for what would become the CLIF Bar. Erickson tried several names — including Forza, Torque, and Gary's Bar — before settling on CLIF Bar, named after his father Clifford. The packaging image of a rock climber was first drawn by Doug Gilmore on a napkin over dinner in San Francisco. At a September 1991 bike show, Erickson debuted three flavors: double chocolate, apricot, and date oatmeal. In its first year, sales of CLIF Bar exceeded $700,000, fueled primarily by strong sales in bike shops and the growth of the healthy and natural foods movement. Sales doubled each year, and by 1997, revenue surpassed $20 million. In 1997, the company name was changed from Kali's SportNaturals to Clif Bar & Company. In 2010 the company moved into a new headquarters in the EmergyTech Building in Emeryville, California. Designed by ZGF Architects LLP, the former manufacturing plant earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status. The building was re-purposed and sustainably-designed with photovoltaic panels, solar thermal panels, reclaimed wood, plants and other biophilic features.
Clif Bar & Company was ranked the No. 1 brand in the Forbes "Breakaway Brands" survey, conducted by Landor Associates using Young & Rubicam’s BrandAsset Valuator database measuring brand momentum from 2006 to 2009.
Clif Bar has instituted policies intended to make a more green-friendly business. The company switched to organic ingredients and eliminated shrink-wrap, thereby saving 90,000 pounds of plastic and $400,000 annually, and invested in wind energy to offset fossil fuel usage.
In 2007, Clif Bar began giving employees $6,500 (taxed) to switch to bio-diesel or high-mileage hybrid cars to reduce fuel consumption. As a bio-diesel incentive program, "Cool Commute" was the first of its type nationwide and drew praise from Al Gore for helping to aid the fight against global warming. In 2008, the company began giving employees up to $500 to purchase a commuter bike, with annual rewards up to $960 for getting to work on foot, bicycle, or public transportation. The company also began offering employees up to $1,000 annually to make eco-improvement to their homes, such as insulation, solar panel installation, and new windows. In April 2009, Clif Bar joined Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, a coalition of companies, including Nike, eBay and The North Face, with the goal of passing progressive climate and energy legislation.
The company’s business practices are not without controversy, however. In 2012, Clif Bar came under fire for not disclosing where they source their chocolate from. According to the nonprofit Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.), two West African countries, Ghana and the Ivory Coast, supply 75 percent of the world’s cocoa market. In recent years, a handful of organizations and journalists have exposed the widespread use of child labor and, in some cases, slavery on West African cocoa farms. Volunteers with F.E.P. contact companies that make vegan products containing chocolate to find out if they source their cocoa beans from areas where slavery can still be found. F.E.P. first contacted Clif Bar in May 2011, and the company has refused to disclose the source of its chocolate. The nonprofit launched a campaign in March 2012 asking consumers to contact Clif Bar and demand transparency in light of the possible connection to child labor and human slavery. On March 5, 2012, Clif Bar & Company announced that "100 percent of cocoa ingredients for CLIF Bar will be sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms." 
In June 2010, Clif Bar initiated an employee stock ownership program (ESOP), which gave 20 percent ownership of the company to its employees, with Crawford and Erickson retaining the other 80 percent.
Company facilities include a gym, rock climbing wall, yoga room, and massage rooms. Employees can bring their dogs to work and get two and a half hours of paid exercise each week with free personal training. Clif Bar & Company was named among Outside magazine's Best Places to Work in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Clif Bar's community outreach began in 2001 with the initial aim of donating 2,080 employee volunteer hours to community service. In 2010, Clif employees donated 5,290 hours. In 2008, Clif Bar initiated "In Good Company", which organizes employees across several companies to assist in larger development projects, such as in New Orleans, East Oakland, and the Hopi Reservation in Arizona.
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