Clif Bar opens $90m Idaho bakery with focus on sustainability

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Clif Bar's new baking facility will manufacture organic Clif energy bars and Kid ZBars
Clif Bar's new baking facility will manufacture organic Clif energy bars and Kid ZBars

Related tags Clif bar Organic food

Clif Bar has opened its first self-owned and operated baking facility with a $90m investment that focuses on improving sustainability.

Located in Twin Falls, Idaho, the new 300,000 sq ft facility will manufacture organic-certified Clif energy bars and whole grain Kid ZBars. The California-based energy food company currently employs 214 people, and it plans to hire 67 more for various positions.

The facility is designed around biophilic principles that aim to be increase sustainability and reconnect people with the natural environment. Features of the site include

  • More than 200 windows, vaulted skylights and light-directing solatubes
  • Indoor walls of recycled barnwood and natural stone, indoor plants and sliding doors that connect an auditorium to an outdoor events space
  • A packaging area without exterior windows offers wall-projected images of the natural outdoors that rotate daily
  • An outdoor break area including more than 570 trees and 5,700 shrubs and grasses.

The company also plans to add a biking/foot path and organic community garden.

"We built the new bakery to meet the growing demand for our organic energy and nutrition bars. The new bakery provides us with the space to continue bringing innovative new food to market with a low environmental footprint,"​ Clif Bar's executive vice president of food supply, Mike McLaughlin, told BakeryandSnacks.

'A healthy, welcoming place'

“It was really important to us that our Twin Falls bakery embodied our company values,”​ said Clif Bar CEO Kevin Cleary. “We wanted it to be a healthy, welcoming place for people to work—a workplace that sustains our people, the community and the planet.”

In addition to the biophilic design, the bakery’s design elements include hybrid cooling towers that contribute to the bakery using about a third less water than most conventional bakeries, according to Clif Bar.

Clif Bar's organic products

  • Clif Bar
  • Luna
  • Clif Kit's Organic
  • Clif Crunch
  • Clif Mojo
  • Clif Organic Trail Mix Bars
  • Clif Shot Energy Gel
  • Clif Bloks Energy Chews
  • Clif Organic Energy Food
  • Clif Kid Zbar
  • Clif Kid Zbar Protein
  • Clif Kid Zfruit
  • Clif Kid Zfruit+Veggie

As previously reported by this site, the company joined the Connect the Drops initiative​ last year to help protect California's water supply amid periods of severe drought in the state. The initiative is coordinated by non-profit group Ceres, and its members also include food giants such as General Mills.

Growing demand for organic food

Clif said it plans on sourcing more organic ingredients for its products this year, adding that keeping up with demand for organic food can be a challenge.

Clif Bar said its organic ingredients comprise 73% of all the ingredients it buys.

“We periodically face shortages of certain organic ingredients because there simply isn’t enough land devoted to organic farming, especially in the United States,”​ Clif Bar said.

“That requires us to find more ingredient suppliers and be more creative in our supplier contracts. We’re also supporting organic research and funding to help grow the organic industry through our company and the Clif Bar Family Foundation.”

Clif Bar’s 10-year compound annual growth rate is 20.9%, according to the company.

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