Skip to main content

Following the White Road

"The red road is predictable, a known entity, safe, and conservative... The white road is just the opposite. It is the road less traveled. It is an unknown entity, unpredictable, and there may be danger and hardship along the way... But along with this hardship or danger, there is often reward. The reward is a sense of accomplishment—the joy and beauty of the journey along the road less traveled."

- Gary Erickson

02 The Beginning

The Journey Begins


Born on a Bike

During a one-day, 175-mile bike ride—forever to be known as The Epiphany Ride—an exhausted and hungry Gary Erickson realized he couldn’t choke down another unappetizing energy bar. The idea for a better tasting bar was born!


Kitchen-Crafted Recipes

Gary made a flour-filled mess of his mom's pristine kitchen for six months to perfect the first CLIF BAR® recipe.


CLIF BAR® Hit the Shelves

Gary named the bar after his father, Clifford, who introduced him to wilderness adventures and encouraged him to follow his passions in life.


The Launch of LUNA®

“The Whole Nutrition Bar For Women®” was introduced and, judging by its ongoing popularity, women everywhere love it!


Grow the Good

So they could do more good in the world, Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford chose to walk away from an offer of $120-million to sell the company and to keep CLIF family-owned.


Paid To Volunteer

Our company-wide volunteer program, Project 2080, was created, asking employees to give at least 20 hours of paid time to community service each year (2,080 is the number of hours a full-time employee works in a year)


A Different Kind of Bottom Line

Gary and Kit realized that sustaining our business, our brands, our people, our communities, and the planet was a better return on investment than one bottom line. Our Five Aspirations business model was born.


Best Way to Start the Day

Coworkers who eat together play and work well together, so we added bagels to the mix. Today, our Thursday breakfast tradition and all-company meeting are still the place to fill up on good food and the latest Clif news.


Organic For Good™

We began using organic ingredients (like organic rolled oats) in CLIF BAR® energy bars, in our effort to continue “raising the bar” and help create a healthier, just, and sustainable food system.


Nourishing Kids in Motion®

Recognizing the importance of creating a nutrition bar that meets the needs of active kids, CLIF Kid Zbar® hit the shelves. It’s still USDA Organic.


Investing in the Community

Gary and Kit established the Clif Bar Family Foundation to support innovative small and mid-size nonprofits that give back to the community.


Big in Europe

With the launch of our first international market in the United Kingdom, people “across the pond” could finally enjoy CLIF BARs!


Sharing Our Success

To recognize everyone’s contribution in making Clif Bar, well… Clif, all employees were made part owners along with Gary and Kit. (When Clif was later acquired by Mondalez, every ESOP shareholder benefited.)


Green for Future Generations

Along with the opening of our 11,500-foot LEED Platinum-certified “green” headquarters, Clif Bar’s on-site childcare facility, Base Camp, welcomed its first group of junior Clifsters.


20 Years of Thanks

Gary and Kit celebrated 20 years of Clif Bar success by giving every single employee a personalized, shiny red bike!


Loud and Proud

Who says corporate music can't have soul? Clif Bar’s in-house band, Grove Valve Orchestra, won the Battle of the Corporate Bands in Ohio, showcasing that music is just as much a part of our DNA as adventure.


Investing in Organic

Clif Bar spearheaded the creation of the nation’s first endowed university chair in plant breeding for organic crops. We began recruiting more companies to join in investing $10 million to create a total of five chairs over the next five years.


Appointment of our First CDO

Gus was named Clif Bar’s first Chief Dog Officer. While dogs have always been part of Clif’s culture, only one now commanded his very own office.


A New Kind of Bakery

We opened the doors to our state-of-the-art bakery in Twin Falls, Idaho, allowing us to make delicious food in a facility that's also good to the planet.

And the journey continues...