Kind Fires Back at Clif Bar (Again) by Calling Out Its High Sugar Content

The battle between the two snack brands rages on

Kind's ad decries Clif's use of brown rice syrup, calling it 'just another name for sugar.'
KIND Snacks

As the months-long feud between Miller Lite and Bud Light continues to make headlines, Kind and Clif Bar, too, have found themselves in a tit-for-tat squabble that shows no signs of slowing.

In a nutshell: Clif Bar prides itself on using organic ingredients, and loves to point out the fact that Kind does not—so much so that the brand ran a New York Times ad earlier this year to publicize the matter. Kind has chosen to respond to this attack by reminding consumers that Clif Bar products are chock-full of sugar and therefore not as “healthy” as its own almond-based bars.

Now, just weeks after Clif Bar debuted a campaign that touts its organic, sustainable roots, Kind has whipped up a 30-second spot that graphically illustrates the amount of brown rice syrup—”just another name for sugar,” says the ad—in its arch rival’s products.

The spot, which was created by New York shop PB&I, ends with the brand’s new tagline: “Be Kind To Yourself.” Overall brand strategy for the campaign was developed in-house at Kind, while digital elements were created by Something Massive. The spot will run on national TV and across digital channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Amazon. The effort will also be promoted via email and field marketing as well as public relations.

“Our longstanding belief at Kind is to craft snacks made with a nutrient-dense first ingredient, like whole nuts, whole grains or whole fruits,” said Mike Barkley, president and chief operating officer at KIND, in a statement. “Through this new platform, we want to spark a dialogue and remind people to look at what ingredients are most prominent in their snacks.”      

Despite the repeated attacks on one another, both companies seem hesitant to fully defend or explain their respective ingredient choices. In an FAQ section on Kind’s website, the brand states that while it is “not currently pursuing organic certification” for its snacks, it will continue to invest in “high-quality, premium ingredients” while keeping its products accessible.

Meanwhile, Clif Bar skirts any questions about the use of brown rice syrup in its products by making the claim that sugar is “not inherently good or bad.”