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Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol told Yahoo! Finance on Tuesday that he spoke with the makers of Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, but ultimately decided not to add the plant-based protein onto the Mexican fast food chain’s menus because it didn’t follow the company’s strict food quality standards.
Niccol said the plant-based meat was still processed food and adding it will go against the chain’s motto — “Food with Integrity." Chipotle prides itself on “sourcing the very best ingredients it can find and preparing them by hand.” It was also the first fast food chain to eliminate GMO from its ingredients.
Chipotle will continue to serve vegetarian options such as its “sofritas," which are made out of tofu, Niccol told Yahoo! Finance. The fast food joint is also reportedly testing out new menu items such as quesadillas and carne asada.
It's unclear if Chipotle will add Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods' plant-based meat to its menu in the future. Several chains, including Burger King and White Castle, have reported success after adding plant-based burgers onto their menus.
|CMG||CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC.||749.60||-7.67||-1.01%|
|BYND||BEYOND MEAT INC.||79.53||+1.26||+1.61%|
Chipotle's stock hit an all-time high Tuesday after it reported second-quarter earnings of $91 million — exceeding Wall Street expectations. The company reported $1.43 billion in sales, a 13 percent growth compared to last year.
The increased revenue also shows the chain is finally moving past its food safety issues following norovirus outbreaks at several U.S. locations that marred its reputation.
“We are back, but we feel like we are only just getting started,” Niccol said.