NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. — Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. is putting a plant-based spin on one of its meat offerings. The Mexican food chain is testing Plant-Based Chorizo in Denver and Indianapolis restaurants.
Chipotle’s culinary team has spent the last year developing the Plant-Based Chorizo to feature the flavor of the spicy pork sausage without the meat. The protein is made with ancho chili peppers, chipotle peppers, tomato paste, crushed garlic, Spanish smoked paprika and extra virgin olive oil combined with pea protein. Made without grains, gluten or soy, Chipotle’s Plant-Based Chorizo is certified vegan and provides 20 grams of protein per serving.
Plant-Based Chorizo is Chipotle’s first new plant-based protein option since the debut of Sofritas in 2014.
“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,” said Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer for Chipotle. “We used real ingredients to create a plant-based protein with a deep, rich chorizo flavor that can be enjoyed by everyone.”
The debut of Plant-Based Chorizo is part of Chipotle’s stage-gate process, which allows the restaurant chain to study customer feedback and iterate before deciding on a national launch strategy. Chipotle previously leveraged its stage-gate process to introduce the Hand-Crafted Quesadilla, Smoked Brisket, Cauliflower Rice, Carne Asada, Supergreens Salad Mix and Queso Blanco.