Chipotle Takes New Approaches To Freshening Its Image

Chipotle is a prime example of how the lack of food traceability can tarnish your image.

Chipotle Mexican Grill has encountered a few rough patches over the past several months after E. coli and norovirus scares saw double-digit stock drops. However, the company has never been one to sit back and lick its wounds. Instead, it took a proactive stance by launching a new marketing push geared at reminding customers what is so appealing about Chipotle.

Part of the reboot entailed putting a temporary loyalty plan in place to reward repeat customers with free food. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, Chipotle’s Chief Creative and Development Executive was charged with possession of drugs. These incidents combined have had a negative impact on sales, with other chains offering similar fare gladly picking up the slack.

Short Marketing Film Sends A Clever Message

For its part, Chipotle released an animated four-minute marketing film called A Love Story. It shows a pair of young entrepreneurs who soon resort to underhanded tactics to get ahead as the competition heats up between their lemonade stands. When they realize they are taking the wrong approach and go back to high-quality ingredients and simple preparations, the parallels between this and Chipotle’s approach are clear and cemented by a flash of the brand’s logo at the end.

Chipotle feels the film leaves viewers feeling optimistic. They say they chose animation because it makes hard issues feel more approachable. The film is being shown ahead of movies in theaters and has also been posted on YouTube and Snapchat.

While the brand feels this will speak to people who were drawn to their natural food philosophy in the first place, some marketing experts believe more work will need to be done to repair the broken trust among consumers.

Chipotle is a prime example of why supply chain visibility, particularly food traceability, is so important. Chipotle’s emphasis on natural food has lead consumers to believe that food sources could be tainted. While the company hasn’t been able to identify the source of contamination, they have taken steps to regain consumer trust, such as preparing diced tomatoes at its central kitchen. But will that be enough?

Interested in learning more about food traceability? Check out our Food Traceability White Paper.

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