Reflection on our past


a look back,

and forward

2013 - 2018



Our company was founded to connect athletes and consumers to giveback opportunities through healthy and nutritious trail mixes.

PlayHard GiveBack was sparked during a father-son road trip along the coast of California in a vintage Winnebago. The son, a hockey player named Spencer, was enjoying his last summer break before returning to the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. His father, Jeff—a serial entrepreneur and athletic in his own right, knew Spencer wanted to stay in athletics post-college. Without sacrificing the start of Spencer’s professional athletic career, the father-son duo dreamed up what would eventually become PlayHard GiveBack: a nourishing snack that also make the world a better place.

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After months of working with athletes to create mixes that fueled them and appealed to the public, our signature trail mixes were ready to ship!


In 2015 we moved out of our founding office and into a state of the art office that serves as our manufacturing facility and development center.



50 years ago the new and exciting grab and go trail mix consisted of stale peanuts M&M’s, raisins, etc. This has remained the same with minor tweaks and substitutions for far too long. Play Hard Give Back has recognized this stale market and is confident that our fresh, hand chopped and unique ingredients create a flavor profile that will reinvent the trail mix industry.

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We have had the opportunity of parenting with tow non profit organizations that fulfill our giveback mission. No Kid Hungry facilitates out one for one model  where for every bag we sell, we donate a meal through their system. Hope Sports is our current way of connecting athletes to a purpose beyond their sport. With Hope Sports we are able to take our athletes on two build trips a year to build homes for the poor and give families a 10 year economic boost. 

Today our uniquely flavored mixes are crafted to provide the consumer with a nutrient and protein packed snack. This is achieved by using whole, hand chopped ingredients as well as our signature bites. Our bites set us apart from the rest of our competitors as they give the customer a 2 for 1 snacking experience; non replicable protein bar pieces and whole ingredients to create a re-invented trail mix.


To create brand awareness and product driven accessibility, we have flipped the standard distribution model and created one that will put our snacks in the eyes of customers without competition. Through social media, sporting events, giveaways, and online recognition, we are building our brand awareness. Along with this, we have partnered with hotels over 150 hotels nationwide because we believe our products and current brand status best fit in boutique high end markets where we stand out in the eyes of travelers. With this building awareness we will be able to shift into traditional distribution models and hope to stand out against our competitors given that it is a recognizable product. Most recently we have been listed on Amazon!







As we look to the future, we see our brand growing to further utilize athletes and their influence to promote our movement and we look forward to growing into traditional markets that are more widely accepted and used by the public. We have made an impact on the lives of many, but we are just getting started; help us spread the message of playing hard and giving back!







Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Last month, I brought you a simple massaged kale salad. This month, I'm bringing you a dessert. Life is about finding balance, especially in the food we eat. If all we did was eat kale salad all day, every day, we'd be missing out on one of the most coveted food groups: dessert. And, when it comes to eating dessert, I do believe that there’s room for something sweet each day. However, there are a few things that I like to keep in mind. 

North of Known -- Recap

This past Wednesday we were able to join Gavin McClurg in his first screening of 'North of Known' here in Ketchum. Gavin's journey may seem a bit crazy, but according to Gavin "to understand this story you have to understand that i'm not crazy". 

Below is a fantastic read from a feature on Gavin by Patagonia.

To understand this story you have to understand that I’m not crazy. Sure I’ve had some close calls, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got a death wish. There was that time in Mexico when I got stuffed in a waterfall kayaking a first descent and spent over five minutes underwater. And there was the time we got knocked down and nearly run over by an ocean freighter sailing in hurricane force winds and 35-foot seas off Cape Mendocino, California. Ah, and there was that time I landed my paraglider in a river above a heinous waterfall in the Dominican Republic, that was a close call for sure. And I do have to admit to spending a particularly spooky 10 hours swimming in a Pacific atoll filled with sharks after a night-dive went really wrong. And I really got close that time my kite exploded in a howling gale kitesurfing in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland forcing me to dump my gear and swim for several hours in 10°C water against the wind to make landfall. But I promise I didn’t do any of these things for the adrenaline rush. And I didn’t do them because I’m careless, or because I didn’t understand the risks. By definition, expedition means going into the unknown.
— Under the Midnight Sun: A Paragliding Traverse of the Alaska Range

A Note From Our Founder -- Tackling Cairn

A Note From Our Founder -- Tackling Cairn

A note from our founder, Spencer Brendel. Tackling the Cairn order was our biggest order to date and would surely push us to the next level. Day after day we would produce as many bags as possible as we raced the deadline fast approaching. Our biggest day? 4,000 bags with a 4 person team... Ya, thats Nuts!! 

PHGB Featured Athlete: Cody Barnhill and his work with Idaho BaseCamp

Big ideas, big terrain and slightly smaller housing: a profile of free-skier and PHGB athlete Cody Barnhill, and his involvement with our partner non-profit Idaho Basecamp.

At Playhard Giveback, our goal is to highlight the world-bettering work that our athletes do regularly-work that is often overshadowed by videos focused solely on their sports achievements. through content such as this, we aim to change the message of sports media, one athlete, and one non-profit at a time.

A film by Dan Stranahan