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Outside Business Journal

Clif Bar Enters the Pet Market with Clif Pet

The plant-based dog treats are the first products released by the company’s Trailblazers Incubator

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Clif Bar & Company this week released its newest product, Clif Pet dog treats, the brand’s first line of snacks not made for humans. The three flavors of Clif Pet Plant Based Jerky dog treats can be found in Petco locations nationally, and on Clif Bar’s website.

The move into the multibillion-dollar pet market was first announced in December 2021 and planned before Clif Bar & Company’s purchase by Mondelēz International that was announced earlier this month, said Greg Lok, Clif Bar & Company’s Head of Incubation.

Clif Pet is the first product developed and brought to market by Trailblazers Incubator, Clif Bar’s in-house ventures group designed to quickly research and meet market demands in a sustainable way. Lok serves as CEO of Trailblazers Incubator, and said Clif Bar wanted to capture the growing North American pet market with its inaugural effort. Dog treats alone represent nearly $6 billion of the $148 billion pet industry in the U.S.

“This was definitely a strategic area we wanted to move into for some time,” Lok told OBJ. “We’ve previously developed products specifically for all members of the family, and including the wellbeing of dogs in our products just made sense. Our dogs are our family, and we developed the Clif Pet line as a treat we can feel good about giving them.”

Clif Pet comes in three recipes: Sweet Potato & Blueberry, Pumpkin & Apple, and Butternut Squash & Cranberry. Each recipe has seven ingredients, and protein comes from fruit and vegetables, Lok said. Ingredients include flaxseed, pea protein, and apple juice concentrate, and there are no fillers or additives.

“I’d read the packaging on some dog treats and there’s 20 ingredients,” Lok said. “We wanted to simplify that into something a lot healthier that dogs will love. There’s a thinking that dogs are carnivores, but they just want protein which Clif Pet has plenty of even though it’s plant based.”

Clif Bar & Company has partnered with Petco to carry Clif Pet products, which are available in five- and 12-ounce bags and cost $8.99 and $16.99, respectively. The treats come in stick form, and are soft enough to tear into smaller pieces. In an unusual—and possibly brilliant—move, Petco will carry Clif Bars for humans in the same display rack as Clif Pet treats. Lok said the human Clif Bars carried at Petco won’t contain any chocolate, in case of consumer mixup about which bars are meant for which species (chocolate can be toxic to dogs).

Petco will sell Clif Bars for humans and dogs in the same display in stores. (Photo: Courtesy)

“The idea is that it’s one-stop shopping for you and your pet for your next adventure,” Lok said. “It also reminds people that their dog needs calories and nutrition when they’re out exercising just like people do.”

Clif Pet hopes to stand out in a competitive dog-treat market with its simple ingredients and Clif Bar’s reputation among athletes and outdoor recreationists who frequently include their dogs in activities, Lok said.

“People know the brand and eat it themselves,” Lok said. “It’s cool that they can now share a snack they feel good about on the trail with their pet partners.”

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