Chipotle has developed a brilliant marketing strategy, exposing their customers to their sustainable and organic ingredients, while also serving an incredibly tasty and and surprisingly simple recipes. Chipotle brands their company as “Food with Integrity”, making sure to find the “best ingredients” while also being aware and respectful towards animals, the environment, and farmers (http://www.chipotle.com/en-us/fwi/fwi.aspx).
Chipotle’s “Back to the Start” ad, released in August of 2011, hones in on this brand with a charming presentation of a farmer releasing animals into an open farm, against the example of larger commercial farms who lock up their animals and use hormones and other drugs to grow their produce. This ad was very successful in spreading the message of the organic, sustainable, and “back to the start” Chipotle, which has seemingly worked towards the great growth and popularity of Chipotle throughout the USA.
Chipotle is now releasing a four episode series called “Farmed and Dangerous”, a comedy that will capture fans of chipotle, and expose them to the reality of corporate farms who do not practice sustainable, environmentally friendly, or respectful farming. Chipotle hopes that this series will break down complicated issues around food production, and present them to consumers in a user-friendly and comical way. To learn more about this new series, read up: http://nrn.com/fast-casual/chipotle-launch-comedy-series-hulu .
It seems like other fast-casual restaurants are picking up on Chipotle’s success and also beginning to highlight their food production or change their food production in order to make it more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Is this branding move the future of the fast-casual restaurant industry? Perhaps once Chipotle unleashes the truth of these larger corporate farms to a massive consumer base, it will be.