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February 27, 2012

New CLIF Builder's Bar Flavors; CLIF Builder's Bar Giveaway

In some ways, today’s review and giveaway originated nearly a couple of years ago – so if you can do me a favor and imagine the screen reverbing for a few seconds, I’ll get right to my back story.

On my first visit to CLIF Bar headquarters, one of the many cool things the company reps allowed us to do was raid the in-house stash of CLIF products that are available to employees free of charge on an everyday basis (I know, right?). While stuffing my box like a maniac, my eye fell on a couple of Builder’s Bars I hadn’t seen before: Lemon and Vanilla Almond flavors. I packed a few of them home with me, and when my wife and I tried them, we were in love. (With the bars, I mean. But with each other too – I'd better clarify that. Basically there was a lot of love going around.)

CLIF geek heaven

Part of what we liked about them was that the flavors were pretty unique in the world of “10 variations of chocolate” that most brands pushed upon the market. I’ve documented how my wife in particular uses Builder’s Bars as breakfast quite often, and her favorite flavor was lemon, because she likes starting the day with a fruity taste as opposed to a chocolate one. I was partial to vanilla almond for basically the same reason – in general, I like my bar flavors more natural and less chocolatey. That’s not to say we don’t like chocolate – it’s just that when we get a craving for chocolate, we typically just, you know … eat some chocolate. Call us snobs, I guess.

(OK, end of back story – imagine the screen reverbing back to the present now.)

So both of us were understandably concerned when my wife called to me from the computer room several weeks ago, “Hey – the website won’t let me buy any more lemon Builder’s Bars. Is something going on with them?” Of course, I didn’t know – I’m close with CLIF, but not that close – so I fired off an e-mail to my rep.  Her reply contained the news my wife and I both feared: the lemon flavor is being phased out.

Her e-mail continued: “However, we’re introducing three new flavors very soon, so hopefully you and your wife will find a new favorite.” Which brings us to today’s giveaway.

New CLIF Builder's Bar flavors, Spring 2012

This spring CLIF introduced three new varieties of Builder’s Bars: Chocolate Chip, Crunchy Peanut Butter, and S’mores. The flavors themselves aren’t necessarily anything groundbreaking for the company, as chocolate chip and crunchy peanut butter are also original CLIF Bar flavors, and S’mores is already my kids’ favorite MOJO Bar flavor. Like all Builder’s Bars, each flavor provides 20 grams of protein and 23 vitamins and minerals to fuel you like a meal on the go or to assist in muscle recovery after intense workouts.

And for the most part, they taste exactly as you would anticipate: S’mores combines chocolate with a strong graham cracker flavor, Crunchy Peanut Butter is chock full of peanuts, and chocolate chip tastes remarkably like chomping down on a cookie. There isn’t a dud in the bunch, and if you have a soft spot for any of these flavors in particular, you’ll love the new Builder’s varieties. (In a related story, we’re locking the S’mores flavor away from our kids.)

Here’s the thing, though: even though the new flavors are wonderful, in our opinion they’re not in the same ballpark as our old favorite Lemon. It’s not a fair comparison, really – instead of apples to oranges, let's call it lemons to cookies – but unfortunately the fact that the new flavors are great doesn’t diminish our disappointment that the old ones are gone. Furthermore, if you look at the Builder’s lineup with the lemon flavor removed, here’s what you’re left with:

Chocolate Chip
Chocolate Mint
Chocolate Peanut Butter
Cookies and Cream
Crunchy Peanut Butter
Vanilla Almond

In other words, something dangerously approaching “10 varieties of chocolate”, with the exception of Vanilla Almond – which, the way things seem headed, will probably be the next one to be axed.

But that’s enough griping for now, because this post is intended to end on an upbeat note: yes, we’re doing a giveaway! Maybe you’re not like my wife and me, and there’s no amount of chocolate flavors that’s too excessive. Maybe you’ll fall in love with one of these new flavors and it will be the best thing that ever happened to you. Or maybe you could care less what I think, just as long as you get to put your name in the hat at the end.

So here we go: leave a comment below this post to enter, and this weekend I’ll choose three winners at random to receive a sampler pack of the three new Builder’s Bars from CLIF. Despite my issues, I'm pretty sure you’ll love them. As always, thanks very much to CLIF for sponsoring this contest, and good luck to everybody!

*Products provided by CLIF Bar
**See other product reviews on sidebar at right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at info@runningandrambling.com.

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Jeff Gallup 2/27/12, 6:22 PM  

Well... of course since you've talked about it.. I REALLY want lemon! But, I'd be happy to try any flavor actually :-) Thanks!

ken 2/27/12, 6:30 PM  

Cliff bars for free!

Guigou,  2/27/12, 6:49 PM  

Ottoman couch, how handsome your furniture
Lovelier now, but dressed for a funeral
Begging you to sit for a portrait on the wall
To hang in the dark of some parliamentary hall

Elegant clothes, you want to be seen with her
Under your tweeds you sweat like a teenager
Begging you to sit for a portrait on the wall
To hang in the dark of some parliamentary hall

Today is for you
They laid it out for you
For you
There will be six bells a-ringing and white women singing for you
But this feels so unnatural to Peter Gabriel, too

All of the cards and all of the time it took
Soon it's all lines of red in a leather book
Begging you to wait for a minute by the door
Your creeping feet where they've never been before

Today is for you
They laid it out for you
For you
There will be six bells a-ringing and white women singing for you
But this feels so unnatural to Peter Gabriel, too

Ryan 2/27/12, 6:55 PM  

I love lemons but am always weary of lemon flavored foods, but you've convinced me to try one if i see it! I love Clif bars... PS- thank you for all the shoe reviews it was my buyers guide for minimal running shoes!

Al D. 2/27/12, 7:00 PM  

I am addicted to Crunchy Peanut Butter. I mean I'll go out on a long run just so I can eat one when I'm done! More Clif Bars would mean more long runs.

Sean 2/27/12, 7:02 PM  

Oh, I would looovvvve some Clif bars.

krystyna47 2/27/12, 7:07 PM  

Lemon WAS pretty good, although I love chocolate. ALL THE TIME. It would be nice to see an orange or a berry flavor?? Similar to the Powerbar C2Max bars, but on the protein side of things...

Nevertheless, count me in!!

r(un)on 2/27/12, 7:20 PM  

Chocolate good. Must eat chocolate. Mmmmmmmm

Jean 2/27/12, 7:26 PM  

I agree that it would be nice to have a little more variety in the flavors, but the new flavors certainly sound delicious! Count me in.

emwins 2/27/12, 7:51 PM  

Who doesn't like Clif bars?

JAM 2/27/12, 8:01 PM  

Scharffen Berger flavor? Well, that might be a slight leap. Sign me up!

Eddie 2/27/12, 8:05 PM  


Lecia H,  2/27/12, 8:25 PM  

Now I have to go out and try lemon Clif bars before they're gone! Thanks! :)
I probably need to have you review my lemon grapeseed oil that is part of the healthy dinner line I am a rep for! Check out my website www.yummy.mywildtree.com and let me know if you want me to send you (or your lemon loving wife) a sample to cook with! Great on fish, veggies and chicken!

Cody r.,  2/27/12, 8:31 PM  

CLIF bars please!!

Rustina,  2/27/12, 8:33 PM  

Toss my name in the hat, indeed! Reed

Gerald C. 2/27/12, 8:40 PM  

Oh man, CLIF Bars are great! I used to eat them all the time when I only hiked. Now that I'm running, they're great as an after-sport snack; especially white chocolate macadamia nut! But I'll always be partial to chocolate chip; my very first CLIF Bar!

Donald Piret 2/27/12, 9:14 PM  

I'd LOVE to give CLIF bars a shot, you've blogged about them so much that I'm really curious what the hype is about.

Dan 2/27/12, 10:03 PM  

Being a happily non-recovered Clifaholic, I'm in!

Morgan Hill

TimS,  2/27/12, 10:09 PM  

I love anything CLIF, and the new chocolate chip flavor is already a favorite. Always glad to see positive CLIF press.

jonnyb 2/28/12, 1:31 AM  

I would like to find one of these lemon bars before they are gone for good. Thanks for this opportunity to try new flavors!

karl,  2/28/12, 3:31 AM  

Clif bars! Yes please!

Endorphin Junkie,  2/28/12, 3:32 AM  

I could eat 20 different veriations of Chocolate all day long, but I understand where your coming from. Me likey clif bars...i'm eating one right now...i'm serious, I am...

Jobu007 2/28/12, 4:40 AM  

Another....Yes Please!!!

BE 2/28/12, 5:14 AM  

well, I'm fonder of fruit flavors in energy bars, but I have not yet had a bad Cliff bar so sign me up!

Colin S.,  2/28/12, 5:16 AM  

This man loves Clif Bars
Wheedle deedle deedle dee
Bars for free for me?

Akemi,  2/28/12, 5:22 AM  

Chocolate tends to be one of my favorite flavors as it does a good job of masking other, less pleasant tastes.

Jonathan 2/28/12, 6:00 AM  

Free Cliff bars, I'm in

Brandon 2/28/12, 6:13 AM  

Can I please win?! :-)

Adam B. 2/28/12, 6:16 AM  

Throwing my name in the hat for a sampler! I never tried the builder bars, but have always enjoyed crunch peanut butter regular clif bars.

Did you ask them if they have any fruity flavors on the horizon?

Rob 2/28/12, 6:28 AM  

would love to try some

Jen Small 2/28/12, 6:32 AM  

I've never tried the Lemon one!!

Love Clif though-everything they make is awesome. Totally addicted to the Coconut Chocolate drizzle one (I know you were not a fan of that one! lol)

Looks like fresh new packaging too! Never tried Smores...

baby olive 2/28/12, 6:35 AM  

Our family loves CLIF bars!

Joe M 2/28/12, 6:36 AM  

I'm always up for trying something new!

Josh 2/28/12, 6:38 AM  

Vanilla Almond has been my favorite for a while. I tend to gravitate towards vanilla with any and all protein products. The chocolates never really taste like chocolate, and though not bad, end up disappointing. The mint chocolate is pretty tasty though. It's my second favorite. Would really like to try the s'more.

spangs 2/28/12, 7:01 AM  

Pass the cliff mon

Bryan M,  2/28/12, 7:03 AM  

Me too!

RunningLaur 2/28/12, 7:03 AM  

I've been a Z-bar S'mores addict lately, so the s'more version of this sure caught my eye. Sorry about the lemon.

Mike E 2/28/12, 7:08 AM  

I love these whether training or racing, and our entire family enjoys stuffing these in the backpack for a quick burst of energy during our adventureous excursions - thanks!

Blair,  2/28/12, 7:32 AM  

Perhaps one day holiday flavored Builder's Bars. Too much chocolate can be exactly that.

Jay Fast 2/28/12, 7:33 AM  

All of them sound good to me.

Michael Shane Helton 2/28/12, 7:45 AM  

I am always up for CLIF bars!

JimDog 2/28/12, 8:41 AM  

Bring on the cliff bars!!! Thanks!

Ally 2/28/12, 8:57 AM  

We were upset when they were phased out, too, but I'm looking forward to the new ones!

Chad 2/28/12, 9:59 AM  

I am hungry just thinking about these!

WZ 2/28/12, 10:11 AM  

clif bars are my favorite workout food, i would die for it :D

lolamako 2/28/12, 10:15 AM  

Oh man ANNNNNYYY flavor I would be stoked on! I haven't tried any of the crunchy ones yet though....

Eric 2/28/12, 10:22 AM  

"[W]hen we get a craving for chocolate, we typically just, you know … eat some chocolate."

Well said. I have been sticking to Larabars lately. They have a lot of good fruit and nut flavors with out any extra ingredients.

I also liked the new C-Bars from CLIF. Unfortunately, they are nearly impossible to find around here.

Zack Locke 2/28/12, 10:38 AM  

Brownie Clif Bars are my favs

Chu 2/28/12, 10:38 AM  

Love Clif bars!

Dave 2/28/12, 11:10 AM  

Builder Bars are my Fav! And, the Chocolate PB is my go to BB.

Yakov 2/28/12, 11:34 AM  

Ooh, S'mores. I'll take those in any form. Thanks!

gregoryboytos 2/28/12, 11:38 AM  

can't wait to try vanilla almond. i loves me some clif!

Phung the Asian Runner(P-TAR) 2/28/12, 11:43 AM  

I always loved clif for their original bars, but these look like a wonderful new thing to try out!

bf in az 2/28/12, 11:52 AM  

How do you ask for a first serving of s'mores? "s'"?

Kelley 2/28/12, 12:04 PM  

Alas, no more lemon?!? I am a fan of the "chocolate" varieties as well, so I would love to give them a try! Thanks!!

Eric 2/28/12, 12:44 PM  

Clif Bars are so YUMMY in my TUMMY!

qrtrmiler 2/28/12, 2:08 PM  

Builder's Bars PLEASE...yes, even chocolate! :)

John Nguyen 2/28/12, 2:27 PM  

Free breakfast? Sure. Count me in!

PB Junkie 2/28/12, 2:59 PM  

The crunchy peanut butter sounds like it was made for me! I'll have to try it!

Unknown 2/28/12, 3:11 PM  

No such thing as too many chocolate flavors!

David 2/28/12, 4:25 PM  

i <3 clif bars!

i <3 chocolate!

i <3 free stuff!


Ironmike 2/28/12, 5:17 PM  

The new flavors sound good. Maybe they will bring back lemon in the future

Scottty M,  2/29/12, 4:25 AM  

I wanna get chocolate wasted!

Matthew 2/29/12, 6:24 AM  

Sign me up for free stuff.

Joanne 2/29/12, 1:04 PM  

I love CLIF bars. I'm a fan of every flavor I've tried so far. Usually I lean toward chocolate peanut varieties.
Enter me ..please :)

lemon 2/29/12, 1:42 PM  

I'll miss lemon......

paiNn3ck 2/29/12, 2:24 PM  

Cant wait to try these!

george 2/29/12, 5:02 PM  

Loves me some Builder Bars! (and chocolate ones, especially)

Jon C,  2/29/12, 9:04 PM  

I also loved Lemon, but the new Smores flavor is also pretty dang good.

Tyler 3/1/12, 9:41 AM  

New Flavors! I'd love to try. :).

Knuckles 3/1/12, 12:22 PM  

Sign me up please, Donald. I love the Builder's Bars. I use them while traveling quite a bit.

Nathaniel,  3/1/12, 12:45 PM  

Count me in por favor!

Andy 3/1/12, 5:43 PM  

I am a recent convert to Cliff Bars based on your recommendation...now I am a big fan!

Peace and Love,


Cyle 3/1/12, 11:28 PM  

I knew about the new flavor, but I didn't know lemon was being phased out!! I love the fact that lemon adds some variety, and I eat these guys so often (at least once a day?) that I NEED variety DX. Now I feel like raiding every nearby store and buying up all the lemon Builder's bars (keeping one or two to sell in 30 years, of course, when everyone is like "WHAT?! CLIF had a LEMON flavor?? So weird!" And I'm like, yeah, I'll sell you one for $300 (or, with inflation, $3,000 or something like that)).

This is crazy!

Anyway, loved the post. :)

Robb 3/2/12, 12:02 AM  

I would like to enter!

Kate 3/2/12, 6:32 AM  

I remember when clif bars first came out.... they tasted SO much better than the power bars.

rbrown10 3/2/12, 7:23 AM  

Crunchy Peanut Butter sounds awesome!

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