- Chipotle launched Lifestyle Bowls exclusively for mobile app and website orders for pickup and delivery, providing options for paleo, keto, Whole30 and high protein diets, according to a press release.
- The company worked with Whole30 co-founder Melissa Hartwig Urban to create a bowl with romaine lettuce, carnitas, fajita veggies, tomato salsa and guacamole that is in compliance with the diet, which eliminates legumes, sugar, soy, dairy, grains and alcohol.
- Other bowls such as the Paleo Salad Bowl contain romaine, barbacoa, fajita veggies, green salsa and guacamole. A Keto Salad Bowl is made with romaine, carnitas, red salsa, cheese and guacamole, and the Double Protein Bowl contains white rice, black beans, a full portion of chicken and steak, red salsa, romaine lettuce and sour cream.
Chipotle has been working to differentiate from competitors with its For Real marketing campaign — an ad series that highlights the quality of its fresh food ingredients — and this latest menu innovation further establishes its niche. The move to align with popular fad diets makes sense, too, givenCEO Brian Niccol's goal of transforming the company into a "lifestyle brand."
While other restaurants have been adding plant-based menu items that cater to a growing number of vegans, Chipotle is likely among the first major chains to have menu items targeting specific diets, which could give the brand a marketing edge. It also saves online customers the hassle of trying to customize their meals to fit their diets.
"We've watched guests custom create lifestyle-specific bowls when ordering in our restaurants, so it made sense to offer delicious options via our online channels that help people easily order bowls with real ingredients that fit their wellness goals," Chipotle chief marketing officer Chris Brandt said in a press release.
According to a 2018 International Food Information Council Foundation survey, over a third of Americans follow a specific diet, while 7% follow Paleo, 5% are on low carb diet, 5% follow Whole30, 4% are on high protein and another 3% are on keto diets.
Chipotle also has been making a big push to increase awareness of its delivery and digital platforms since partnering with DoorDash in August. As part of the college football bowl season, it kicked off a campaign ending Jan.7 that offers customers free delivery for orders of $10 or more. These new digital-only menu offerings could bring more traffic to its mobile app and website.
During the third quarter, digital sales rose 48% and now makes up about 11% of sales. But there is room for improvement — especially with a less than 50% awareness of its digital platforms. Offering exclusive menu items will certainly help drive interest in online ordering.