NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – “Radical transparency” is the latest strategy behind Chipotle Mexican Grill’s campaign to rehab the company’s brand following outbreaks of E. coli, Clostridium perfringens and Norovirus.
The company’s ‘For Real” integrated marketing campaign emphasizes Chipotle’s use of “real food made with real ingredients.” A poster featuring all 51 ingredients used in Chipotle offerings will be on display in nearly 2,500 restaurants, Chipotle.com and the company’s social media platforms.
Traditional television ads, out of home ads, digital and print ads will carry the ‘For Real’ campaign, in addition to a second Instagram account, @ChipotleForReal.
“Chipotle’s new For Real tagline and mission brings us back to our roots and reflects the principles we were founded on 25 years ago,” said Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer at Chipotle. “Chipotle has always emphasized food prepared fresh daily in all of our restaurants and we wanted this campaign to highlight that, reflecting our real principles and ‘real’ as a way of acting in the world. While often long and complicated ingredient lists are common in today's food industry, we like to say the only ingredient that’s hard to pronounce at Chipotle is ‘Chipotle’.”
Chipotle’s ingredient list is not the source of the company’s image problems. The company continues work to repair its image and restore consumer trust following a series of foodborne illness outbreaks that include an outbreak of E. coli O26 illnesses across 11 states in 2015, followed by the discovery of Norovirus at a Boston-based restaurant that reportedly sickened 80 customers.
And in August, an outbreak of Clostridium perfringens sickened 647 people who ate at a Chipotle Mexican Grill in Powell, Ohio.