Why Clif Bar Will Likely Be Sold For Almost $3 Billion

Maybe you've been heading out for a hike, pedaling away on a bike trek, or reaching high for a big climb. Or maybe you just need a pick-me-up to power through the remainder of a long, busy day at work, and you want an easy-to-eat snack with wholesome ingredients and healthy energy. No matter what the reasons are, you may be reaching for your go-to Clif Bar or one of its other products, like Luna Bar or Clif Kids.

According to the company's website, Clif Bar got its start in 1990 when Gary Erickson set off on a grueling 175-mile bike ride. He brought 6 energy bars; a product that didn't have many options on the market at the time. Though the flavor and consistency left much to be desired, Erickson did walk away inspired to create a better bar for outdoor enthusiasts; one with quality ingredients and a taste that would keep people coming back for more.

Erickson's near-instant hit launched in 1992. Along with his wife, Kit Crawford, Erickson has led the privately-held Clif Bar company through its growth. The couple's shared vision has helped shape Clif Bar's ethic and impact, including their Five Aspirations business model that calls for sustainable decision-making in regards to the business, brands, people, community, and planet.

Inside Clif's climb

In addition to their innovative leadership, Erickson and Crawford have been reluctant to relinquish control of the company to outside interests. When the health food market boomed and energy bar sales soared in the late 1990s, Clif Bar turned down a $120 million offer from Quaker Oats to purchase the company, notes Inc.

That reluctance has seemingly paid off for the company, as it has reached a recently-announced deal to sell to international food titan, Mondelez International, Inc., for $2.9 billion (per Forbes). Mondelez's other brands include icons such as Oreo, Honey Maid, Ritz, and Toblerone (via Mondelez International, Inc.)

Speaking with the BBC, Mondelez CEO Dirk Van de Put stated that the acquisition of Clif Bar is part of a larger effort by the company to grow the company's business in the chocolate, biscuits, and baked snacks sector, which includes snack bars. Further, Clif Bar CEO Sally Grimes noted that the support and resources offered by Mondelez fits perfectly with Clif Bar's own ambition to scale growth.