New leader in fresh snacking? Clio Snacks closes $8m funding round and doubles revenue this year

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: Clio Snacks
Photo: Clio Snacks

Related tags: Clio Snacks, Yogurt, Snack bars

Clio Snacks -- known its for chilled, chocolate-covered Greek yogurt bars -- has closed an $8m series C fundraising round led by long-term investment partner Alliance Consumer Growth (ACG) and new investor in the brand, AF Ventures, bringing total investment in the company to $21m over the past three years.

Clio Snacks​ has increased revenues by 100% this year vs. 2019, increased its distribution footprint by 57%, and grown consumer adoption significantly.

While a good portion of the growth can be attributed to coronavirus shopping behaviors, the company sees its growth as much more than a short-term boost to its bottom line.

"We really believe it will be a sustainable growth trajectory. If we’re able to bring more triers into the business, then we know we have more repeaters,"​ Clio Snacks president Heather Cox told FoodNavigator-USA.

The brand will use the recent cash injection to fuel wider store expansion, marketing, and fund two new innovation launches later this year, according to Cox.

"Really what this funding does for us, is it allows us to take a formula that we know is working both for consumers and for retailers and for Clio, and just really amplify that growth,"​ 

'We have seen tremendous consumer adoption'

Part of its successful formula has been the brand's ability to drive incremental growth to the waning Greek yogurt category and bringing additional foot traffic to the grab-and-go chilled bar set in stores, which has been challenged in recent months due to the increase in bulk food buying and less on-the-go eating by consumers.

"We have seen such tremendous consumer adoption of Clio. The data really suggests that more and more people are trying Clio. And, we play a really strategic role for retailers where we are incremental to either the yogurt category or incremental to the refrigerated bar set,"​ Cox said. 

"Our velocities are incredibly strong and what we’re seeing is our same store sales are growing at an incredibly rapid clip,"​ she added. "In the latest four weeks our velocities are up 38.8% (in total US MULO), and in the latest 26 weeks, they're up 25%." 

Cox noted that the brand's core user has been health-focused female consumers, and by extension moms, who have brought it into the home fridge where it has morphed into a family snack that continues to be restocked.

"We know it’s a product the whole family likes ​[and continues to buy],"​ said Cox. 

ClioSnacks_fullline

Across its entire line, which includes limited releases of seasonal flavors, strawberry and vanilla are consistently the brand's favorite and top-selling SKUs, according to Cox. 

Intersection of comfort eating and functional health benefits

Asked how a relatively new brand has been able to capture and grow consumer adoption during such an unusual time in the CPG industry when many shoppers are purchasing products from large, legacy CPG brands in greater frequency and may be less focused on trying new brands, Cox noted that Clio's value proposition is that its products stands squarely at the intersection of health and indulgence.

The brand's snack-sized, chocolate-covered chilled Greek yogurt bars function as both a comforting treat and better-for-you snack with 8g of protein per bar and billions of probiotics per serving.

"Basically it’s this package of something that feels like cheesecake but has all the attributes that folks are looking for either from their yogurt snack or refrigerated bar snack,"​ said Cox. "It makes people feel good in what otherwise is a very stressful, emotional time." 

In what Cox describes as sustainable, long-term growth experienced this year, Clio Snack plans to continue to drive new consumers to the brand and is steadfast in its pursuit to disrupt the yogurt and refrigerated bar categories. 

"We bring a totally unique occasion to those two sets, and we want to continue to accelerate that,"​ she said. 

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