Chipotle Spruces Up Menu With Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. CMG has announced the testing of the new Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice across 55 locations in Denver and throughout Wisconsin, beginning Jul 15. However, before deciding on the national launch, the company intends to leverage its stage gate process through testing and customer feedback.

Notably, the new plant-based option comes with grilled cauliflower along with fresh-chopped cilantro, lime juice and salt seasonings. Moreover, the grain free menu innovation is in compliance with Keto, Whole30, Paleo, Vegan and Vegetarian diets, to provide healthy offerings. Priced at an additional cost of $2, Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice will be available at the restaurants and digital orders.

In relation to the latest menu addition, CEO Chris Brandt stated "We've answered the call from fans and created a better-for-you option that puts a delicious twist on our classic white rice recipe by using the same fresh cilantro and lime ingredients and culinary techniques."

Continuous Focus on Menu Innovation

Given that the coronavirus pandemic has forced companies to limit their menu offerings to support their business models, Chipotle continues to explore its food menu with Integrity standards.

Over the past year, three Chipotle menu items namely — Carne Asada, Supergreens Salad Mix and Queso Blanco — were rolled out after successful completion of the stage-gate process. The company also launched its first menu innovation called Lifestyle Bowls for mobile and web orders that resonated well with consumers.

On Jan 2, 2020, the company expanded its Lifestyle Bowls by adding Whole30 Compliant Chicken to its menu on a nationwide basis. Moreover, the introduction of kitchen ovens for the betterment of its latest Quesadillas bodes well.

For 2020, the company’s priorities are expected to revolve around the five key initiatives, namely, use of stage gate process, leveraging digital programs to expand access and convenience, frequent customer interaction through loyalty program, menu innovation, and operational excellence.

So far this year, shares of Chipotle have gained 30.1% against the industry’s 8.5% decline.


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 better-ranked stocks in the same space include Dine Brands Global, Inc. DIN, Papa John's International, Inc. PZZA and Yum China Holdings, Inc. YUMC, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1.

Earnings in 2021 for Dine Brands are expected to surge 206.6%.

Papa John's has a three-five-year earnings per share growth rate of 8%.

Yum China has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 62.9%, on average. The company’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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