Ever since working for Clif Bar & Company, I’ve had an obsession with the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry. At Clif, I’d read articles daily about flavor trends, new products, and consumer insights. I can’t say why I was so interested, but I got hooked. I’d look for specific releases at the store and tell people about the rise of probiotics and nostalgic flavors.

Concurrently, I was semi-jokingly trying to get “sponsored” by Clif. Really, I just wanted Clif (or any other admirable CPG brand) to send me free products that I would then post about on Instagram through silly videos and pictures. I didn’t want to be paid, necessarily; I just wanted to rep brands I liked and not pay for their products. I do a lot of fun outdoor activities — wouldn’t brands love to see me making posts about their products while I’m jogging down a mountain trail or hanging off a boulder?

Virtually any time I was doing an activity that involved snacking (trail running, climbing, biking, etc.), I would snap a selfie with some Clif products and caption it “@clifbar sponsor me”. The hilarious part about this is I knew the Clif social media manager at the time. It was driving me insane that he wouldn’t re-post me! Meanwhile, I was also often calling out Kodiak Cakes, my favorite pancake brand, to #sponsorme as well. Kodiak, for what it’s worth, would always respond to my callouts, but just in a direct message — not in a public fashion. Clif eventually did re-post me, but never extended the sponsorship deal.

Over the last two years, I’ve researched and/or applied to several other brands that may or may not be willing to sponsor me, but to no avail — until now. Yes, Slaico has finally attained sponsorship! Sort of.

In my research of CPGs, I am naturally drawn to bar brands after my time at Clif. There’s really no bar out there that I’m unwilling to try. Pretty much any time I’m at the grocery store or a co-op, I will gaze at the bar section, looking for deals and new brands. One brand that came across my radar was IQBar. These bars are marketed as having adaptogens that boost your brain power, in addition to a host of other benefits. With a little more perusing, I ended up following IQ’s CEO on LinkedIn, Will Nitze, and found his posts though-provoking and funny. I eventually bought their Almond Chocolate Chip bar and was super impressed. Not only is it really tasty and has great texture, it has a good source of fiber, 12 grams of protein, only 1 gram of sugar, and the added “brain nutrients” — magnesium, vitamin E, MCTs, flavonoids, and Lion’s Mane. Even if the brain benefits are gimmicky, the nutritional properties and taste alone are enough for me. It’s hard to find a bar that doesn’t contain added sugars and packs that much protein in.

I applied to be an ambassador for IQBar, but I thought I didn’t have the prerequisite 1,000 Instagram followers to be accepted (I’m sitting around 800-900 — #followme). Yet lo and behold, I got accepted as an affiliate marketer just a couple of weeks ago. Essentially, I can market IQBar for commissions; anyone buying the brand for the first time can use my code SLAICO at check-out to receive 15% off (www.eatiqbar.com/SLAICO). I bought myself a sampler pack, since I hadn’t found all the flavors in store (and didn’t know they sell instant coffee and electrolytes too!). What I especially loved about this was not only did I receive all of their products to try, but they also arrived in a super small box — for once, a CPG company cutting down on packaging!

I am by no means forcing anyone to buy IQBar now that I am quasi-#sponsored. However, I will say that I am a big fan of the product and highly recommend it. 🙂

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