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Jan 28, 2019 • By

Lara takes London for LÄRABAR UK launch

After years of success in the U.S., LÄRABAR has officially launched in the UK.

The LÄRABAR line of vegan snack bars was founded by Colorado-native Lara Merriken in 2000, with a mission to “help people eat well, get active and be present.”

And to celebrate the brand’s expansion, Merriken crossed the pond to do just that during events held across the UK last week.

She helped people eat well by debuting LÄRABAR at Whole Foods Market UK in Kensington and delivering a live podcast to their Instagram followers – the same chain where the brand made its major U.S. retail debut in Denver, Colorado, in 2003.

She also visited the flagship Wandsworth store of Sainsbury’s – the brand’s lead grocery partner for launch – where the bars are on shelf and will soon be available for sampling.Lara-at-Sainsburys-store

While LÄRABARs are available in 24 flavor varieties in the U.S., the bar launch in the UK is kicking off with three flavors: Apple Cinnamon, Banana Choc Chip, and Peanut Butter Choc Chip – which are also available through Amazon UK in its first “brand store” for General Mills in Europe.

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An avid tennis fan and active player herself, Merriken joined members of the General Mills team for a behind-the-scenes visit at Wimbledon – of which our Häagen-Dazs brand is the official ice cream and serves its biggest global partnership.

“Our UK teams have been excited about the LÄRABAR launch because of the ‘real food’ mission behind the brand and its potential opportunity as we debut in the UK. But getting to spend time with our inspiring founder Lara, hearing her creative vision and feeling her enduring passion for the product capped with her overall support for this expansion outside the U.S. has made us even more energized and confident of where we can take the brand,” says Arjoon Bose, marketing lead for our Natural & Organic business in Europe-Australasia.

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And Merriken was present, sharing her story and mission with food fans, micro-influencers, bloggers and members of the media during a chic press launch event at The Curtain Hotel in London.

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Merriken also shared her journey as a female entrepreneur with employees at our Uxbridge office, as part of our Women in Leadership Network discussion series which was specially facilitated for her by Helene Henderson, the LÄRABAR brand manager in the UK. Together with Henderson, she also visited media teams at The Sun, Monocle and The Courier sampling bars and delivering interviews to lifestyle and food editors.

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“What better way to drive brand awareness than to have the heart and soul behind the brand and its original face sharing LÄRABAR’s message in her own words? Lara’s time and insights were invaluable this week and inspired everyone via her interactions,” says Bose. “We are proud to wear the brand like a badge of honor here in the UK as we stay true to her mission that remains even more relevant today.”

While the official launch was a whirlwind of activity. Everyone, including Merriken, ended the week invigorated.

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In a message to Bose and his team, as she headed back to the U.S., Merriken said:

“Thank you for an amazing week. I’m leaving absolutely invigorated. We did a lot of work … I’m stunned at the response and excitement. I think LÄRABAR has a natural fit in the UK – launching in the right places at the right timing. The passion behind your team, the care and attention to detail is what’s going to make this a huge success. I’m excited to see how the brand is going to build. I know so many people are excited about it – the events were incredible and the enthusiasm for the brand was palpable. I’m confident that the LÄRABAR brand is in good hands with your team in the UK.”

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