Chipotle Finds Itself in a Food Fight


by Mark Huffman

Chipotle has been a dramatic restaurant success story, serving up Mexican delicacies and specializing in Mission burritos and tacos in what has come to be known as a “fast casual” dining environment.  Founded in 1993, the chain is hugely popular with Millennials, who not only like the food but identify with the company's mission statement ,“food with integrity,” espousing popular food values like “organic,” “fresh,” “locally sourced” and most recently “GMO-free.”

But the trendy restaurant chain has become the target of a self-described Libertarian consumer group that has launched a high profile campaign, branding Chipotle's fare as unhealthy. A group called the Center for Consumer Freedom operates a website,, bearing the unflattering image of an overweight man and the Chipotle mission statement, with the word “integrity” crossed out and replaced with “hypocrisy.”

The ChubbyChipotle site roasts Chipotle for its marketing pledge to not use meat from livestock treated with antibiotics, a move the group says harms animals.

“Chipotle also has had a policy forbidding its meat producers from using antibiotics—even though these medicines are used to treat sick animals,” the group says. “This can lead to animal deaths. Chipotle admitted as much in its annual report, saying, 'Herd losses can also be greater when animals are not treated with antibiotics…'”

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Source:  Consumer Affairs

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