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Here’s what went down.
In March, CLIF Bar issued a challenge for KIND Snacks to go “organic.”
“We believe that going organic is the key to creating a healthier, more just and sustainable food system,” CLIF Bar tweeted. “We also know that we can’t change it alone. So we’re challenging KIND Snacks to go organic. We’ll even help them by lending our expertise.”
We believe that going organic is the key to creating a healthier, more just and sustainable food system. We also know that we can’t change it alone. So we’re challenging @KINDSnacks to go organic. We’ll even help them by lending our expertise. #organichttps://t.co/c540qV3tBV— CLIF Bar (@ClifBar) March 6, 2019
The tweet was accompanied by an open invitation addressed to the KIND Snacks CEO, Daniel Lubetzky. The invitation also apparently ran as an advertisement in the New York Times.
Suffice to say, KIND did not appreciate the call out and tweeted back at CLIF to point out that the “organic brown rice syrup” the company uses is just a fancy name for “sugar.”
Part of our sustainable, organic food supply is having pride in our ingredients, including organic brown rice syrup & other organic sweeteners. Calling out individual ingredients won't deter us. We source 117 organic ingredients across our supply chain. Won't you join us?— CLIF Bar (@ClifBar) March 7, 2019
“Give us a call, you have our number and we’d be happy to meet,” KIND later added. “Bonus: It’s cheaper than a New York Times ad.”
And then, it was on like Donkey Kong.
CLIF later tweeted an update, pointing out that its rival had predictably neglected to take them up on such a generous offer.
We believe organic is better for people & the planet. Recently we offered to help KIND go organic. Unfortunately they didn't accept & are not pursuing it. But 18 other companies did decide to move further toward organic after reading our invitation.— CLIF Bar (@ClifBar) March 18, 2019
From there, things were quiet for a couple of months until KIND fired shots in June through a YouTube advertisement. The video dragged CLIF’s use of brown rice syrup. Remember, the sugar?
All hell broke loose once KIND decided to share the video to its Facebook page. The ensuing melee was captured in screenshots by journalist John Colucci.
The month-long feud was still ongoing as of Saturday.
This is not a great look for either company, and it’s probably best they quell the quarrel. After all, there’s room for more than one healthy-adjacent protein bar in this world.
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Stacey Ritzen is a reporter and editor based in West Philadelphia with over 10 years' experience covering pop culture, web culture, entertainment, and news. You can follow her on Twitter @staceyritzen.