Clif Bar& Company is expanding into the cereal aisle with its new Clif Cereal line. The clean label cereals are made with 30% to 40% less sugar than other leading cereals, according to the company. They have at least seven grams of protein and fiber per serving and packaging that meets the company's commitment to have 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.
The cereals come in four flavors including Blueberry & Almond Butter, Apple Cinnamon & Almond Butter, Honey & Peanut Butter and Chocolate & Peanut Butter. Ingredients include organic grain flakes and oats, granola clusters and nut butters.
- Consumers rediscovered their love of breakfast foods during the pandemic as they spent more time at home. Many CPG companies predict that new breakfast-time habits will stick even after the pandemic, providing an opportunity for brands to capture consumer interest with new products.
Clif Bar & Company CEO Sally Grimes, who formerly led Tyson Foods’ prepared foods business, set her sights on growth and innovation outside the snack bar segment when she took the helm of the company known for its clean label snack bars last June. Her experience in the prepared food segment brought new insight for Clif Bar to venture into new territory.
At the beginning of this year, Grimes unveiled a plan to double the brand’s sales to $2 billion, while adding more SKUs to its lineup. This is an unconventional move right now, considering most manufacturers are working to trim their SKUs. Part of the effort also includes ramping up the brand's sustainability commitments, which is important because more than half of consumers consider package sustainability when making purchases, according to a study from Trivium Packaging.
The launch of a non-bar product line isn't surprising either. Clif Bar & Company has been steadily expanding its presence outside the snack bar segment, introducing its first granola-based cereal in 2018. In the snacking segment, it has Clif Thins, which offer consumers a 100-calorie energy boost with five grams of sugar, and Pop’n Crunch Clusters, which offer five grams of protein per 150-calorie serving.
As a breakfast time staple, cereal is a convenient meal that can be prepped in minutes even as consumers return to their morning commute and school routines. Cereal has also emerged as a popular snack option, with 30% of cereal being eaten outside of the traditional breakfast window, according to data from a 2019 Burke Landmark Eating Occasions Study.
Clif has a challenge ahead as it enters the better-for-you cereal space, which has proven to be fickle for many food manufacturers. While consumers demand clean label products, some have been unimpressed with better-for-you options. Many CPGs have created more cereals that qualify as “permissible indulgences” for consumers, including sugary takes on popular candies, cookies and sweet baked goods.
But considering that Clif already has a reputation for being a clean label, better-for-you company, it may be able to stand out in the ever-expanding breakfast aisle. Consumers who would purchase the company's products are likely to be familiar with the brand name and what it stands for, and would be interested in bringing everything they like about Clif Bar & Company to their breakfast tables.