First Look: CLIF Bar Organic Energy Food

Launching in February is CLIF Bar’s newest product, Organic Energy Food in resealable pouches.

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Launching in February is CLIF Bar’s newest product, Organic Energy Food in resealable pouches.

Triathlete staffers got the unique opportunity to have a first look at (and taste of) CLIF Bar’s newest product: Organic Energy Food. The USDA-certified organic food, available in four flavors in resealable pouches, will be available at specialty retailers nationwide in February 2015.

The products are made with real-food ingredients, such as sweet potato, banana and beets, and are available in two fruit (Banana Mango with Coconut, and Banana Beet with Ginger) and two savory (Pizza Margherita and Sweet Potato with Sea Salt) flavors.

The two sweet flavors ($2.29 per 90-gram pouch) are smoothie-inspired and are designed for shorter activities—one hour or more. They contain 22-24 grams of carbs per serving of multiple transportable carbohydrates, and they’re similar to three CLIF Shot Bloks or a gel. The idea was that they can be added to your menu if you’re looking for a new taste or texture (the Banana Mango with Coconut flavor, for example, has some shredded coconut). The texture is less viscous than gels, as it has a higher water content—it’s about three times the volume of a gel with the same number of calories. We liked both flavors, and especially enjoyed the different texture from the coconut.

The two savory flavors ($2.99 for 120-gram pouch) are inspired by ultrarunners, who suffer from palate fatigue deep into a race. The sweet potato flavor was inspired by a common ultrarun aid station staple—white potatoes rolled in salt. The pizza flavor comes from long-course athletes who crave those savory flavors toward the end of a race. Of the two, we actually liked the pizza flavor better—the flavor profile comes from ingredients such as quinoa, yeast flakes, tomatoes and carrots. The savory flavors are designed for longer activities (two-plus hours) because they have higher protein (for satiation) and fat (for changing up the blood flow for digestion and easing GI distress) content. They also are higher in sodium (550-600 milligrams), the equivalent of 2-3 sodium capsules.

We could see both of these flavors being great during workouts or long-course races, when you’re craving something a little more real-tasting and can’t choke down one more gel.

The packaging is one area the CLIF team would like to change—as of right now, it’s the same as baby food packaging (but the content is nutritionally very different from baby food!). They would like to reduce the size of the screw top and make it more ergonomic for carrying during a run.

Keep an eye out for this exciting new product from CLIF, coming in February 2015.

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