Clif Bar's Emeryville, California HQ. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Clif Bar just got acquired for almost US$3 billion

Snack-food titan Mondelēz International sees synergy.

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The energy bar company Clif Bar & Company – a mainstay of many cyclists’ on-bike nutrition – has been acquired by Mondelēz International for a whopping US$2.9 billion.

Clif Bar was founded by Gary Erickson, an outdoors enthusiast who got the idea for a better energy bar during “a day-long, 175 mile bike ride with my buddy Jay” in 1990. The company debuted its first commercial offering in 1991 at a bike show, and by 1992, the company was on its way – primarily as a result of its deep roots in the cycling industry. Within five years, the company’s revenue was more than US$20 million.

The company’s product offering has expanded over the years, with protein bars, gels, and chews joining the line-up. The company’s distribution has increased, too – from specialist sports stores to mainstream supermarkets. Clif Bar & Company has also been recognised for its environmental sustainability and innovative company culture.

Clif Bar’s products all use organic ingredients.

Mondelēz International is a snack food titan. Its name is a portmanteau of the Latin word mundus (‘world’) and delēz, a (not particularly convincing) tweak on ‘delicious’. Major brands in its portfolio include Cadbury, Toblerone, Chips Ahoy!, Oreo, Sour Patch Kids, and Tang.

In a statement following the acquisition, Mondelēz said that the Clif, Luna and Clif Kid brands would form a US$1 billion-plus global snack bar franchise for itself.

The deal – expected to close in the third quarter of 2022  – will also “create cost synergies” for the distribution of Clif’s products due to Mondelēz’s global scale.

Dirk Van de Put – Mondelēz International’s Chairman and CEO – expanded on the synergistic connectitudes of the partnership, saying that the transaction “advances our ambition to lead the future of snacking”, with Clif Bar & Company “[embodying Mondelēz’s] purpose to ’empower people to snack right’.”

Serving suggestion.

Clif Bar will continue to operate from its Emeryville, California headquarters, with manufacturing in Idaho and Indiana.  

“Mondelēz International is the right partner at the right time to support Clif in our next chapter of growth,” said Sally Grimes, Clif Bar & Company’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our purposes and cultures are aligned and being part of a global snacking company with broad product offerings can help us accelerate our growth while staying true to our deeply ingrained Five Aspirations – sustaining our people, planet, community, business, and brands – five bottom lines that have grounded our company since its founding and will remain our North Star going forward.”

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