Holiday-Theme Energy Food

This time of year, it’s come to be expected that places like coffee shops might add a dash of holiday-inspired ingredients to evoke some seasonal spirit and extra sales. But what about energy-food brands? Two of the biggest players, Clif Bar & Company and GU Energy Labs, unveiled holiday-themed products last month.

Clif’s Seasonal Clif BARS, including gingerbread and pumpkin pie flavors, are touted to taste like “home-baked holiday treats” and yet still have the company’s “blend of carbohydrates, protein and fiber for sustained energy.” I tried each bar out, and they do taste good! The name of each bar — Cranberry Orange Nut Bread, Iced Gingerbread and Spiced Pumpkin Pie — pretty much describes the essence of each flavor. I like Iced Gingerbread the best.

The Seasonal Clif BARS have a similar price and similar nutritional readouts as regular Clif Bars. They are available now through the New Year for $1.39.

GU’s holiday-theme energy gels come in Vanilla Gingerbread and Mint Chocolate flavors. I have not tried these out, so no taste-test opinion as of yet. The gels include similar nutritional stats as the company’s regular GU, though with holiday packaging and flavoring usually reserved for Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve.

A spirit-of-the-season bonus: Clif Bar & Company has committed to donate one percent of its net sales from the seasonal flavors to Winter Wildlands Alliance, an organization that works on behalf of skiers, snowboarders, and nature lovers to address issues that impact winter wilderness.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of