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Are Clif Bars Vegan-Friendly?

Are you looking to see if Clif Bars are vegan-friendly? 

The flagship product of Clif Bar & Company, the granola bars were created in 1990 after Gary Erickson was inspired, during a long-distance bike ride, to make tasty protein energy bars and to improve the unappealing bars that he had brought with him on the exhausting ride.

The Story of Clif Bar

Their slogan is “Make It Good” and they are a pioneer of wholly organic energy snacks.  They are based in California, where more of their organic food and drink products are manufactured. 

Clif Bars come in 5 main varieties: 

  • Traditional
  • Fruit Smoothie
  • Nut Filled
  • Builder
  • Whey Protein  

Their variety of flavors are popular among athletes for their milkless chocolate and vitamin D fortification.  

But as a vegan, should you still be cautious with this product? Let’s find out…

Are All Clif Bars Vegan-Friendly?

The Answer is: No

No, Clif Bars are not suitable for vegans because they contain Palm oil and Palm kernel oil, sourced from different kinds of palm trees, as well as natural flavors. 

What Are Clif Bars Made Of?

Nutrition Facts

Clif Bars Peanut Butter Nutrition Facts


Clif Bars (Chocolate Chip) are made from the following ingredients:

Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Rolled Oats, Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Roasted Soybeans, Rice Flour, Cane Sugar, Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Soy Flour, Organic Oat Fiber, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Cocoa Butter, Barley Malt Extract, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Soy Lecithin, Organic Cinnamon, essential vitamins, and minerals.

Why Are Clif Bars Not Vegans?

Though the Clif Bar & Company website states that there are no intentional animal products in the bars, they all contain palm kernel oil and palm oil.  These are not vegan-friendly ingredients – palm oil and palm kernel oil plantations are counterproductive to conservation efforts, causing deforestation and harming animals and the environment.

All of our products can fit within a plant-based diet and are made with predominantly plant-based ingredients. In fact, most of our foods contain no intentionally added animal-based ingredients.

There are only a few Clif products that contain animal-based ingredients:

– CLIF Whey Protein, LUNA Protein, Zbar Protein, and CLIF Recovery Protein Drink Mix contain whey protein from milk.
– CLIF Bar Peanut Butter & Honey w/ Sea Salt contains honey.


Natural flavors: Are not necessarily animal-derived, but there is no confirmation that they are purely plant-derived; although the Clif company maintains their ingredients are mostly plant-based.

Peanut Butter & Honey with Sea Salt flavor, Whey and Protein ranges: Watch out for these flavors as they contain dairy and animal-derived protein, respectively. 

While the rest of the varieties of Clif Bars; Fruit Smoothie, Nut Filled, and Builders – do not have animal derivatives, they contain palm oil.

Final Thoughts

Clif Bar & Company are committed to being fully organic and to implementing environmental sustainability in their production.  Clif Bars are 70% organic, contain plenty of plant-based protein (soy), milkless chocolate, and vitamin D fortification. Vegans risk calcium deficiency and vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium into the body. 

Clif Bars come in a variety of ranges, some completely without animal-derivatives, and others with animal-derived protein and dairy.

Although organic and largely plant-based, the above information, unfortunately, shows that Clif Bars are not vegan-safe as they contain palm oil, a problematic ingredient in the vegan community.  

For more on Clif Bars, head to the Clif Bar & Company website: Clif Bar & Company | Clif Bar

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