Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Chipotle (CMG) Spruces Up Menu With Plant-Based Chorizo

Read MoreHide Full Article

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG - Free Report) recently announced the testing of its new plant-based protein option — Chorizo — in Denver and Indianapolis. This marks the brand’s first new plant-based protein offering, following the launch of Sofritas in 2014. Before deciding on the national launch, the company intends to leverage its stage gate process through testing and customer feedback.

The new plant-based option comprises Ancho Chili and Chipotle peppers, ripe tomato paste, crushed garlic, Spanish smoked paprika as well as extra virgin olive oil in combination with natural protein sourced from freshly-grown peas. Notably, the certified vegan offers 20 grams of protein (per serving) and does not include artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.

With respect to the testing, Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer, Chipotle, stated, "Plant-based lifestyles have continued to accelerate in popularity, and as a longtime leader in the category, we are exploring ways to give more variety to our fans."

Meanwhile, the company stated its availability at participating U.S. restaurants from Aug 19 through Aug 29. Also, it is offering $0 delivery fee on all plant-based Chorizo orders via the Chipotle app and

Focus on Stage Gate Process

Chipotle continues to focus on stage gate process before inheriting a national launch strategy. The idea revolves around the iteration of listening, testing and learning from customer feedback.

Some of the recent launches that persuaded stage gate process include the Hand-Crafted Quesadilla, Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice, Carne Asada, Supergreens Salad Mix and Queso Blanco. Also, the company unveiled certified organic lemonades, aguas frescas, and teas from Tractor Beverage in July 2020.

The company stated that it has several new products in the pipeline that are in the early-stages of consumer testing. We believe that focus on stage gate process, leveraging digital programs to expand access and convenience, frequent customer interaction through loyalty program, menu innovation, unit expansion as well as operational excellence are likely to benefit the company going forward. Notably, these factors will help customers resonate more with the company.

Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

So far this year, shares of Chipotle have gained 34.9% compared with the industry’s 12.4% growth.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Chipotle currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Some other better-ranked stocks in the same space include Papa John's International, Inc. (PZZA - Free Report) , The Wendy's Company (WEN - Free Report) and Jack in the Box Inc. (JACK - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Papa John's 2021 earnings are expected to increase 122.9%.

Wendy's has a three-five year earnings per share growth rate of 9%.

Jack in the Box has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 26.4%, on average.

Published in