In 1990, Gary Erickson set off on a 175-mile bicycle ride with his buddy Jay. As usual, he packed six energy bars from the only energy bar brand on the market at the time. Halfway through the day, Gary realised he simply couldn't stomach another sticky, unappetising, hard-to-digest bar. Then and there, in a moment he now calls "the epiphany," the inspiration for the CLIF Barâ„˘ was born.
Gary owned a bakery at the time and knew that good food could only come from using high-quality, nutritious ingredients. So the idea for a new kind of energy bar went from the drawing board to his mom's kitchen. Using whole ingredients like rolled oats, fruits and nuts, he created CLIF Bar an energy bar with an optimal blend of carbohydrates, protein and fiber that supply working muscles with the energy they need for extended periods of activity. Named after his father Clifford, who inspired Gary's love of the outdoors, CLIF Bar launched in 1992.
CLIF Bar was an instant hit with cyclists and climbers. Distribution began humbly in bike shops, outdoor stores and natural food markets, but as popularity grew among outdoor adventure seekers of all types CLIF Bar's retail outlets expanded to include grocery stores, convenience stores and other retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada. In response to the increased demand for healthy, great tasting sports nutrition for performance athletes, Clif Bar & Company also created CLIF SHOT® Energy Gel and CLIF SHOT® BLOKSâ„˘, a chewable source of carbohydrates for performance athletes.