December 29, 2021

Clif Bar is leaping into the pet food category with the launch of its new line of plant-based snacks for dogs.

The organic energy bar firm is introducing a new range of vegan pet treats set to hit US shelves in early 2022 under the brand name CLIF Pet.

It will launch with three recipes of plant-based jerky including sweet potato and blueberry, pumpkin and apple, and butternut squash and cranberry. Each flavour contains just seven ingredients and is designed for easy digestion.

The food company, which also owns CLIF Kids and LUNA bars, will become one of few mainstream firms to adapt its products for the pet industry. It says plans are already in place to expand its pet food portfolio in the near future.

Clif Bar’s senior director, Greg Lok, said: “With more than 11 million US households bringing a pet home during the last 18 months of Covid, the category is exploding and ripe for new offerings.

“What makes this launch unique is the combination of speed and discipline to bring an innovative, relevant product to market during a global pandemic.

“We are truly blazing new trails by applying best practices from tech start-ups to our expertise in consumer insights and packaged goods. It’s a winning combination.”

Clif Bar & Company energy bars
Clif Bar is known for its organic and plant-based energy snacks. Credit: Clif Bar & Company

Clif Bar & Company launches Trailblazers Incubator project

CLIF Pet is the first venture from Clif Bar’s new in-house venture group –Trailblazers Incubator – a project that was announced at its California headquarters in Emeryville in December 2021.

The company has made public its plans to double its revenue by 2030, and the Trailblazers Incubator project is a key part of that goal, according to company officials.

It has been developed to create sustainable business opportunities and drive new growth strategies for Clif Bar using an agile start-up mindset.

This includes expanding into new categories that align with the company’s Five Aspirations business model.

Chief innovation officer, Rizal Hamdallah, who is overseeing the project, said: “By introducing CLIF Pet, we will bring energy to the whole family.

“Just as Clif Bar was founded on disrupting the energy bar category nearly 30 years ago, the Trailblazers Incubator is built to consistently deliver our bold innovation agenda and accelerate our growth plan.

“In addition to a rapid, data-driven product development and go-to-market strategy, what makes our approach different is extending the loyalty of the CLIF brand.

Clif is a market leader within the energy bar market, valued at $2,969 million in 2020 and has decided to take its innovations in a new direction after years of ‘safe’ expansion.

The move is supported by the dramatic increase in pet ownership coupled with the emerging demand for human-grade pet food, as reported in the latest pet care industry outlook.

Today, as pets are considered part of the family more than ever before, the category is said to represent a significant growth opportunity for Clif Bar.

The company has crafted nutritious and organic food for almost 30 years under its CLIF, CLIF Kid, and LUNA brands.

Credit: Alvan Nee / Unsplash

Other plant-based pet foods

Plant-based and cultivated pet food continues to gather momentum with several brands joining the trend.

In November, fermentation startup Bond Pet Foods announced it is teaming up with Hills Pet Nutrition to replace one of Hill’s most popular meat-based products with a sustainable alternative.

In September, Wild Earth raised $23 million to expand its plant-based dog food with support from an all-star lineup of investors.

Also this year, startup Because Animals closed a seed funding round to help bring its commercial pet food to market.

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