Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) plans to serve more than 15 million pounds of locally grown produce in its restaurants in 2013, up from its 2012 goal of 10 million pounds. The national restaurant company has steadily increased its locally sourced produce supply since beginning the program in 2008.
“We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman, and co-chief executive officer of Chipotle. “That means pushing ourselves to find the best quality ingredients—ingredients that have traditionally been available only in high-end restaurants and specialty food markets—and making them available in way that is accessible and affordable.”
A 2012 Mintel survey of 2,000 adults found that more than half (52%) of US consumers say it’s more important to buy local produce than organic options. Most produce travels some 1,500 miles from where it is grown to where it is consumed. All of Chipotle’s locally grown produce comes from within 350 miles of the restaurants where it will be served.
Chipotle will work with a network of more than 70 local, family-owned farms to provide bell peppers, red onions, jalapenos, oregano, and romaine lettuce for its restaurants. Its restaurants in Florida and California also serve locally grown tomatoes, as well as lemons and avocados in California.
For more information, visit www.Chipotle.com.