Not bad – I still prefer the trail mix bars.
I love the Clif Organic Trail Mix bars, so I picked up two of the nut butter filled bars to try them out. I was hoping for an organic, sustainable substitute for something like a Snickers bar. In terms of nutrition, they each deliver 12% of your RDA for saturated fat, 26 or 27 grams of carbs, 9 grams of sugar and 7 grams of protein, as well as 11 or 12 % of your fiber, some iron, vitamin E, and minerals. Nutritionally, I’d say they are very good: predominantly peanut butter and oats, sweetened with brown rice syrup and date syrup. Overall, if I’m craving peanut buffer I’d prefer Theo or Justin’s PB cups and if I wanted snacks for hiking, I’d rather go with Cliff’s trail mix bars. These may be ideal for cyclists though!
Peanut Butter: Good. Tastes mainly of peanut butter as you’d expect. It’s also peanut-butter-like in texture but not too difficult to eat, even without a drink. I’d still prefer a trail mix bar, but I guess if you were on a bike like the guy on the wrapper you might find this easier to eat. 4/5 gold stars.
Chocolate Peanut Butter: This was not a success, in my opinion. The chocolate didn’t add anything to it – in fact it made it too dry and hard to eat. And it’s not like a layer of pure chocolate – more like chocolate and oats mixed together, which doesn’t do the chocolate justice. I definitely prefer the regular peanut butter version. 3/5 gold stars.
Overall, I think Clif bars deserve 5/5 green stars for social and environmental impact. All of the ingredients (except for things like salt) in both bars are organic. Organic peanuts and oats are pretty sustainable crops: oats require few agricultural inputs (fertilizer, water, pesticides, and herbicides) and can help improve soil health, and the same goes for peanuts, which fix their own nitrogen and require little water. 1% of Clif sales goes to either “1% for the planet” or to the Clif foundation. Clif have offset the company carbon emissions going back to the company start by helping to build wind farms. They have targets for their suppliers too – the goal is for half of their suppliers to be using at least 50% green energy by 2020. Solar power provides most of the electricity and hot water for their HQ, which is also certified LEED platinum; their small vehicle fleet runs on biodiesel; they have incentive programs to help employees use green transportation and green energy at home. They aim for 90% of waste diverted from landfill by the end of 2015. The packaging for the boxes is made from recycled paperboard. The wrappers, like most, are not biodegradable but you can recycle them (and other energy bar wrappers too) through Terracycle – see their website to get a free shipping label. All of their cocoa and palm oil is organic and/or certified by the Rainforest Alliance, who’s standards are considered to be as good as Fair Trade certification. There’s a lot to read on the Clif website under Impact, and it leaves no doubt that the company is one of the better ones out there.