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Fast Food

Chipotle’s First New Menu Item in 20 Years: the Meatless, Tofu Burrito

chipotle-tofu

After testing their Sofritas option in select markets for the past year, Chipotle has announced plans to introduce the meatless protein to its menu. The fast-casual chain describes the new item as a shredded tofu braised with chipotle chilies, roasted poblano peppers and a blend of spices. Patrons will be able to use Sofritas for vegan and veggie burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads.

In the company’s 20-year history, Chipotle has never updated its menu with an entirely new product — save for the occasional addition of brown rice. However,  the brand’s culinary manager Nate Appleman tells Fast Company that they’ve come up with a tofu option that “even if you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, you could eat it and love it.” Appleman also noted that the product underwent several tweaks before the chain finalized the chili-based recipe.’

For those of you who’ve had a chance to try Chipotle’s new tofu burritos, sound off in the comments!

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Restaurants

Chipotle Expands Tofu Sofritas To The East Coast

chipotle-adds-tofu

Chipotle began testing its tofu-based Sofritas filling yesterday at its restaurants in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Richmond, and Washington, D.C.

Since its initial launch of Sofritas at seven San Francisco Bay Area restaurants, Chipotle has added Sofritas to the menu all of its restaurants in California, Chicago, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Vancouver, Canada. The East Coast expansion brings the total number of restaurants offering Sofritas to about 600, more than a third of the company’s outlets.

Sofritas – a shredded tofu braised with chipotle chilies, roasted poblano peppers and a blend of aromatic spices – is available in burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads. Chipotle is sourcing the tofu for its Sofritas from California-based Hodo Soy, which produces organic, non-GMO tofu.

A spokesperson for Chipotle reports that Sofritas accounts for 4 to 5 percent of sales in the stores that offer it, which may be contributing to the the chain’s growing bottom line.

Last week, Chipotle announced that its 2013 third quarter earnings topped $826 million and was up 18 percent as compared to the third quarter of 2012.

Categories
Fast Food

Chipotle Expands ‘Sofritas’ Tofu Option to West Coast

chipotle-adds-tofu

Back in February, Chipotle began testing a new shredded tofu option, “Sofritas,” in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since then, the burrito chain expanded this new addition to the rest of California, and according to Businessweek, “Sofritas now account for 4 percent to 5 percent of sales in the state.”

Due to its success, Chipotle will offer the tofu option throughout the West Coast by the end of this month. The vegetarian-friendly filling is GMO-free and  features shredded tofu braised with tomatoes, poblano peppers and chipotle sauce. Customers will be able to add Sofritas to any of the chain’s burrito, taco and salad dishes.

Of course, the company hopes to attract both herbivores and carnivores alike. “This isn’t your typical tofu dish,” spokeswoman Danielle Winslow told Businessweek in an e-mail. Winslow added that the goal is to offer tofu options “good enough to have crossover appeal as well.”

H/T + PicThx Businessweek

Categories
Fast Food

As Beef and Dairy Costs Rise, Chipotle Tests ‘Sofritas’ Tofu Option

tofu

Chipotle, one of the few fast-food chains able to provide “natural” ingredients in their menu items, will be testing a new shredded tofu option named “Sofritas” in the San Francisco Bay Area next month. The new filling will be braised with tomatoes, poblano peppers and chipotle sauce.

The fast-food chain hopes to attract vegetarians with the new tofu filling, as well as fend off the rising costs of beef and dairy prices affected by the recent drought.

Although, it’s doubtful the new menu item will prevent Chipotle from having to raise prices this year as a result of the financial pressures. As  Chipotle Chief Financial Officer John Hartung stated in a conference Thursday, “While we haven’t made any decisions yet, the fact that our food costs are rising, it is more likely that we’ll raise prices in 2013.”

While the “Sofritas” filling is an excellent addition and way to mitigate the cost inflation, given their limited menu, Chipotle will have a tough time as the price hike will effect the majority of their offerings.

H/T Yahoo! Finance