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Posts Tagged ‘Chipotle’

Chipotle Sticks Its Organic Nose Up at Pizza-Making Italians Everywhere

Chipotle PizzaEditor’s Note: Possibly not a Chipotle official photo. Also, possibly not an Editor’s Note.

Late last year, the progenitors of fast-casual food with a little added integrity decided that, because the burrito business has done them a solid for a minute, it was time to bring the Chipotle mania to another sector: pizza.

Much to the chagrin of the little box delivery chains across this great land of ours, Chipotle’s presence on the pizza scene is a legitimate threat. And although there are no holes to shoot in Chipotle’s dough, the burrito giants have decided to throw down.

Almost a year later, here’s the shot fired: Pizza people, you’re doing it wrong!

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Chipotle Co-CEO Turns His Nose Up at ‘Cheap, Irrelevant’ Fast Food Chains


It’s difficult to hate on the rollers of the edible fatties, Chipotle. It tastes great, it’s “all natural”, and it’s good for you (as long as you only consume 25% of a given burrito). Even if you didn’t dig the food, the company’s advertising and CSR work is splendid (good work, Edelman).

If anything could possibly damage Chipotle’s sterling reputation, it would be perceived snobbery.

For example: “My food is better than your food. And now, let’s make fun of your diabetes.” Stressing the quality of your ingredients should not be a big deal; Papa John’s Pizza tries to do the same thing.

So guess what happened?

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Taco Bell Will Be Testing New Restaurants That Serve Milkshakes Spiked With Guinness

us taco coFirst they went after McD’s with an ad filled with Ronald McDonalds. Now they’re going after Chipotle.

Taco Bell is testing out a “fast-casual” restaurant called US Taco Co. that’s meant to compete with Panera and Chipotle. (That’s the logo at right, BTW.)

According to USA Today, the target audience for this restaurant are millennials with cash to spend on more than just 99 cent tacos.

To do that, diners will have options that are more in the $10 range with ingredients like lobster and Texas brisket. They’re starting with two locations this summer — one in Huntington Beach and the other in a TBD Southern California location where they will be able to serve alcohol. That second location will have what’s being called a “Mexican Car Bomb“: a vanilla shake with Guinness beer, tequila caramel sauce and chocolate bits.

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Chipotle Comms Clarifies: Fear Not the ‘Guacpocalypse’


Here’s a case in which a company’s PR might almost regret having to contradict a viral story.

A couple of days ago a post on ThinkProgress highlighted a section of Chipotle’s annual report to investors, which expressed concern over the potential effect of global climate change and subsequent extended droughts on the availability of avocados and other produce.

“…we may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost.”

The story went viral primarily due to the fact that it provided alternately bored/hungry/angry Americans with yet another excuse to scream at each other online. In other words, it was just another crappy, completely unproductive day in America’s political comment threads, which exist just to prove our theory that the human race might not be worth saving.

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Chipotle Goes All In on ‘Factory Farming’ Message with Hulu Mini-Series

Chipotle appears to have taken content marketing to its logical conclusion by producing an online mini-series that never once mentions its own product.

From what we can tell, Farmed and Dangerous—created with NY “branded entertainment” firm Piro—stars Laura Palmer’s dad as a guy who does damage control for the kind of unethical corporate farming interest that earns the strong disapproval of the Chipotle organization. The plot, as seen in the trailer above, revolves around said industrial giant creating a petroleum-based feed for cattle, and it includes at least four half-hour episodes that could be extended into a second “season” if the experiment works.

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Chipotle Sponsors an Entire Page on HuffPo

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 6.08.17 PM

If people keep asking you to define “sponsored content”, then we have just the URL for you—today our sister site FishbowlNY reported that Chipotle has teamed with The Huffington Post to sponsor an entire page called “Food for Thought.

We have surprisingly positive feelings about the project so far. One might be forgiven for confusing it with HuffPo’s usual food page at first glance, but it’s more than a series of paid ads despite the fact that Arianna can’t seem to stop praising the chain and CMO Mark Crumpacker’s first post is all about how Chipotle is absolutely nothing like McDonald’s and hasn’t been associated with McDonald’s for several years, so stop bringing it up!! 

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Another Day, Another Monsanto GMO Protest

OK, OK...We don’t envy Monsanto right now. Sure, it’s a super-wealthy international “biotech corporation” that touts its seeds, pesticides and other products as part of the “sustainable agriculture” movement, but a fairly big slice of the public came out over the weekend in several cities around the world to show much it really hates the company for using GMOs (that’s genetically modified organisms to you, sir) in its products.

This is the second global protest against Monsanto; the first, in May, included endorsements from such celebrity luminaries as Bill Maher, Dave Matthews and Danny DeVito, who we will continue to call “Frank”. At the end of the day, it’s a messaging war: are GMOs a solution to global hunger or a way to poison the public in the name of profits?

The “March Against Monsanto” organization posted a press release explaining its complaints: “GMOs are not adequately monitored to ensure public safety” and Monsanato acts to “suppress any research containing results not in their favor” and avoid complying with any labeling requirements.

Now for the PR: how can Monsanto counter its current status as everyone’s least favorite evil corporation?

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Here’s a More Accurate Version of Chipotle’s ‘Scarecrow’ Campaign

When posting on Chipotle‘s impressive new campaign last week, we noted a few contradictions. The company wants to define itself as the anti-”Big Food” brand, but it’s a fast food chain once partially owned by McDonald’s. And while the chickens in your burrito may be “food with integrity (TM)”, they most certainly did not live idyllic lives just hanging out on the farm before they generously decided to become your dinner.

All this conversation inspired Funny or Die to make a parody video, and it might be the best clip we’ve seen from them so far.

Seems like someone wasn’t too impressed with the original.

The campaign is brilliant, but it also implies that Chipotle is a humane or even “vegetarian” organization. That’s not an outright lie, because the team that created it wouldn’t be so careless, but its purpose is to tie the brand to a lifestyle that doesn’t quite match by softening the audience’s perception of the meat production process.

This isn’t to say that Chipotle is evil. We ate one of their burritos last night, and it was delicious. But the parody is a clever reminder, in case you needed one, that content marketing is still marketing and that the end goal is still sales, no matter how nice it might make you feel.

Public Grows More Skeptical of Brands’ ‘Green’ Claims

If you think it, then it might as well be true.

The big takeaway from the latest “Green Gauge” survey from global research company GfK shouldn’t surprise you: consumers are growing more and more skeptical of brands’ green claims.

The depth of the public’s confusion and distrust, however, is worth noting:

  • 22% of consumers aren’t sure about the accuracy of environmental claims made by brands (that’s a 200% increase over the past five years)
  • 10% don’t know how well companies carry out their “environmental responsibilities” (a 300% increase over the same time period)
We feel like these numbers are too low, because 100% of consumers should be “unsure” of environmental claims made in ad and marketing content. (You can blame our cynicism and our experience in marketing and PR.)

Maybe these consumers are just afraid to admit how little they know.

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Chipotle Aims to Tackle ‘Big Food’ with New Multimedia Campaign

Chipotle‘s food may contain some GMOs (score one for transparency), but that obviously won’t stop the brand from gunning for “Big Food”. This high-budget movie makes that point clear with a tune swiped from Wille Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and while we do prefer the Gene Wilder version to this Fiona Apple cover, the clip looks great:

The campaign also includes a mobile game in which players attempt to guide livestock toward the kind of free-range living that Chipotle claims to promote, and it won’t stop there: a series of four half-hour online episodes will expand on this “David and Goliath” story throughout the year.

The idea that Chipotle is a scrappy, organic upstart fighting “The Man” via the big, bad world of industrialized food production is more than a bit of a stretch—at the end of the day, it’s still a fast food chain once owned by McDonald’s. But as long as the brand’s writers and marketers don’t make any dubious, Naked Juice-style “100% all natural” claims, they’ll be just fine.