It started out as a hike, no different than the many others in the Rocky Mountains. That’s when Lara Merriken had an idea—one that would change her life and the lives of many others. That is, to create a snack bar with simple, delicious ingredients that’s convenient to eat on-the-go. In May 2000, Merriken scoured the aisles of grocery stores and gathered even more ideas. She noted popular flavors of ice cream and cookies, and began developing nutritious, tasty snack bars that spoke to her inner dessert-lover. Using her friends and family as focus groups, Merriken tinkered with recipes until she developed a unanimous thumbs up. The original five flavors she chose were: Cherry Pie, Chocolate Coconut Chew, Cashew Cookie, Banana Cookie, and Apple Pie. Armed with just a Cuisinart and a rolling pin, Merriken produced her first 500 bars by hand, and sealed all of them herself. Today, the company known as Lärabar produces millions of bars every year and with many more flavors available. These treats have remained popular over time as wholesome indulgences that people can feel good about eating. Made with whole, natural ingredients Lärabar believes that the foundation of a sound mind, body, and spirit is derived from what we consume, and suggests that what we eat should be in a whole, natural state. That’s why Lärabars are made entirely from plant-based foods—even ones with chocolate ingredients. Long ago, Lärabar specifically asked their supplier to provide vegan chocolate chips, ensuring that no bar contains any dairy. An environmental commitment Merriken’s vision for a healthier world does not begin and end with consumption. It also takes into account the holistic approach to food production, development, and sourcing. Here are some of the ways Lärabar values and promotes fair and ethical business practices: Recycling The folks at Lärabar are dedicated to treating the environment with utmost respect. Through a partnership with Terracycle, they have ensured that the wrappers for all their bars are recyclable. Non-GMO Lärabar has enrolled their products in the Non-GMO Project, which is a nonprofit organization that labels foods as non-GMO based on strict production standards. Fair trade Lärabar upholds fair trade and manufacturing standards, which means it values paying fair prices to workers in developing countries. When a product is fair trade certified, it means that it was produced in an ethical manner where environmentally sustainable farming methods are required, safe work conditions are ensured, and forced child and slave labor are prohibited. Available to everyone Lärabar was founded on the idea that real food should be accessible to everyone. This is why they are thrilled to be a supporter of Feeding America, which strives to relieve hunger and bring awareness of this issue in the United States. Lärabar products Lärabar now boasts more than 19 different flavor options. That’s not all, though; the company also has their bars categorized to fit certain lifestyles and preferences: Lärabar Original The original bars are made from a scrumptious gluten-free blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts, and spices. Plus, each delicious flavor has no more than nine ingredients so you get real, minimally processed food that’s as close to their natural state as possible. Lärabar Organic with Superfoods These bars are a delicious blend of fruits, nuts, and powerful superfoods such as kale, hemp seeds, turmeric, and cacao nibs. Not only do they a provide a punch of nutrition, but each flavor is made with only six ingredients that are organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, and soy-free. Lärabar Bites These mini bars (or bites) resemble truffles, but they’re much healthier. This is because they’re made with wholesome, nourishing ingredients that can satisfy any craving for sweets. They’re perfect for kids because of the small bite-sized shape, and are also loved by adults. Lärabar Fruits + Greens The name says it all—these bars are filled with bright, fruity flavor and a quarter-cup of nutritious greens. Whether you’re on-the-go or looking for an afternoon snack, this can be the perfect option. And that’s not all, each bar is made from only five simple ingredients and are gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, kosher, and vegan. Lärabar Crunchy Nut & Seed Bite into a tasty bar that’s crunchy yet chewy and made from nine real, simple ingredients. Each of them includes good-for-you nuts and seeds, and is completely gluten-free, non-GMO, and kosher.