Wrapped in gold: Chipotle celebrates anniversary and gives back to community | SummitDaily.com

Wrapped in gold: Chipotle celebrates anniversary and gives back to community

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

In a little bit of a jab to most companies’ limited-time offers, Chipotle Mexican Grill has launched an Unlimited Time Only marketing campaign to help celebrate the company’s 18th anniversary. Chipotle began wrapping its burritos in gold foil – instead of its usual silver – at the beginning of March, which is meant to draw attention to what the company considers its unlimited-time offer: sourcing as many sustainable ingredients as possible.

Alex Sanchez, Rocky Mountain marketing consultant for the company, said the gold foil is meant to celebrate Chipotle’s use of humanly and naturally raised meats, local and organically grown vegetables, and dairy products from cows not treated with the synthetic hormone rBGH.

“If it’s so good, why not wrap it in gold?” he said.

Sanchez said when Chipotle founder Steve Ells first started expanding the company from its original Denver location, he started visiting hog farms and was shocked by the conditions he saw. He started sourcing farmers who raised their animals humanly and grew their produce sustainably. Sanchez said it took quite a bit of effort 18 years ago, but has become easier with the growing popularity of the natural and organic markets. He said the company likes to think its growth has contributed to the growth of these industries.

“Chipotle buys more naturally raised meats than any other food company in the world,” he said.

While Sanchez said the company can’t always access local and natural produce and meat, they do the best they can. He said the company is always honest with its customers, and lets them know that, sometimes, some ingredients aren’t natural or organic. A few months ago, when a few Denver locations were unable to access meat deliveries because of weather conditions, stores put signs up letting customers know they were selling commodity chicken.

“It depends on the time of year, and where you are in the country,” Sanchez said.

At the Silverthorne location, general manager Michael Guzman said they receive produce from Colorado farms in Brighton and Wellington.

Ironically, the gold foil in the unlimited campaign is only available for a limited time: until the end of June.

On Wednesday, the Silverthorne location held a fundraiser for the Family and Intercultural Resource Center. Fifty percent of the proceeds generated during the three-hour event went to the nonprofit. Guzman said they raised about $1,000 for the organization. This was the second year the restaurant hosted the event, which was put on at no cost to FIRC.

Anita Overmyer, FIRC’s development and volunteer director, said it’s wonderful that Chipotle reaches out to nonprofits.

“We had a ton of community support,” said Overmyer.

Guzman said the restaurant tries to benefit a local nonprofit once every three months. He said he and his staff love the chance to give back to the community.

“With any of our community events we have, it’s awesome,” he said.

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