Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian

You might’ve heard of paleo, keto or Whole30. Maybe you know a friend who’s on one of these diets or has tried it, or maybe you’ve witnessed an argument about whether these diets work. Now Chipotle has entered into this conversation. Eager to promote itself as a healthy alternative, the fast-casual chain has recently added to its menu several new options, a series of “Lifestyle Bowls” introduced to fit the needs of customers trying out these trendy new diets.

Chipotle’s new “Lifestyle Bowls” include Whole30 Salad Bowl, Paleo Salad Bowl, Keto Salad Bowl and Double Protein Salad Bowl. The company recently released a statement, saying “These first-to-category, diet-driven menu offerings are helping those who have committed to living a healthier lifestyle by making it easy to order delicious bowls that only contain the real ingredients permitted by certain diet regimens.”

The paleo, keto and Whole30 diets are known for their strict rules. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis, which means the body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. The paleo diet, sometimes referred to as the caveman diet, incorporates eating habits from the paleolithic era, whereas the Whole30 diet involves a month without sugar, grains, legumes and dairy.

Chipotle’s new menu is the company’s attempt to reinvent itself after a number of food safety incidents harmed the company’s reputation, including the 2017 public health investigation of a possible foodborne illness outbreak at a Chipotle restaurant.

The changes are the brainchild of CEO Brian Niccol. The former head of Taco Bell, Niccol was responsible for turning around that fast food chain following a 2015 E. coli outbreak where 60 people got sick in 14 states.

Ever since Niccol joined as CEO, Chipotle’s stock has risen by a whopping 40 percent and is now one of the top 10 performers in the S&P 500. Niccol has further added to Chipotle’s repertoire by testing new items such as milkshakes, as well as ramping up its digital offerings and launching a new advertising campaign.

Adopting menus geared toward popular diets shows Chipotle is attempting to remain relevant and is taking into account the current needs of its customers. Niccol has been successful in his use of advertising and marketing to rebuild a company in need of a reinvention.

Chipotle’s return to the limelight isn’t a fluke, it’s the result of creative ideas and marketing that will make its customers come back for more. 

***

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading American PR agency.