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Chipotle wants to make the "world’s greatest cauliflower rice"

CEO says Impossible and Beyond products are too processed

1y ago

There are plant-based burgers at Burger King, plant-powered chicken at KFC, and plant-forward sausage on your BBQ. There’s even vegan tuna for sandwiches and dairy-free mozzarella on your pizzas. Whether you’re vegan or not, meat substitutes are big business: the industry is estimated to be worth $10 billion.

But in this era of the alt-meat revolution, Chipotle has decided to take a slightly different path in appeasing its meat-free customers.

Instead of partnering with a major plant-powered producer, such as Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods, the Mexican-style chain of restaurants has decided to introduce more… well, whole foods.

The company’s CEO told Bloomberg: "We are definitely experimenting with plant-based foods. We’re in the early days of it.”

"What we want to do is make the world’s greatest cauliflower rice, as opposed to process something and make it seem like it’s something else."

Niccol threw some shade at the big dogs (pun wholeheartedly intended) of the industry, saying that Beyond and Impossible products are too processed for the company that boasts “food with integrity”.

Chipotle already offers tofu sofritas. And in addition to the cauliflower rice launch, it plans to use black beans in more menu items.

"When we do plant-based, it’s gonna be real plants," CFO Jack Hartung said during a segment of Yahoo Finance's "The First Trade."

"You’re going to see produce like super greens, you’re going to see peppers -- we have to heat up peppers on our line. I would not expect to see any kind of, you know, where you take plants and then you process the ingredients, then turn it into something like a ground beef or a burger or something like that."

Would you prefer a meat substitute over cauliflower rice?

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