The name “Clif Bar” is synonymous with energy bars for hiking, biking and snack time. Our kids, for instance, have taken the company’s Z-Bars for their daily school-time snacks for the past two years. At Outdoor Retailer – Winter Market 2016, the company was testing a relatively new product it calls Clif organic energy food. Though it was officially unveiled in November 2014, the lineup is getting some new flavors for 2016, a year the company hopes will be its breakout.
On the surface, the Clif organic energy food pouches look like the love child of Capri Sun and GoGurt. Fully squeezable, the energy-boosting sustenance comes out of the top nozzle looking a bit like runny toothpaste. But while that description sounds a tad gross, what comes out of the pouches most certainly isn’t.
The Clif organic energy food line originally launched with four flavors: Sweet Potato with Sea Salt, Banana Mango with Coconut, Banana Beet with Ginger, and Pizza Margherita. For 2016, Clif’s debuting two new flavors: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal and Banana Maple Oatmeal. My favorites at OR-Winter Market was Pizza Margherita — it actually tastes like cheese pizza, which is a true feat for an all-organic substance — and Sweet Potato with Sea Salt. But I’m a bit of an opportunistic calorie disposal. The true taste test would come from my kids.
This past weekend we went on a hike through Tryon Creek State Park, and three pouches of Clif organic energy food formed the core of our mid-trek snack. About two miles in, the kids said they were ready to try them out. My son jumped at the Banana Mango Coconut, which was gone in two minutes and with a big thumbs up. My daughter opted for the new Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal flavor, which comes in a larger pouch and lasted her through the rest of the hike and part of the drive home. She’s a slow eater….
Her judgment of the new Clif organic energy food flavor would be the most telling. She’s sensitive to overly sweet foods and turns her nose up at a surprisingly large number of snacks. So I asked her what she thought of the new flavor. “It’s good,” she said. “Not as good as I hoped, but that’s OK.” Cute words, but the result was what mattered most: she happily finished it.
So, as you’re out and about this year looking for good hiking snacks for kids, keep your eyes peeled for the new Clif organic energy food flavors. The product was entirely new to me, and I venture to guess it’s new to a lot of other outdoorsy folks, cold or not. If it passed my kids’ taste test, it’s probably up to snuff for your household as well. Unlike the aforementioned GoGurt, the tops are also completely resealable via screw tops, which is a nice, clean feature for storing them wherever your backpacking, hiking and kayaking adventures take you.