Critique of Chipotle’s Marketing Comes on Heels of Class-Action LawsuitChubby_Chipotle_Final

Washington, D.C.—The Center for Consumer Freedom is launching a new campaign Thursday targeting Chipotle’s “Food with Integrity” marketing manipulation that sells consumers empty promises. The launch, which comes just days after Chipotle was slapped with a class action lawsuit for misleading advertising, includes a full-page ad in the New York Post and a new website, ChubbyChipotle.com.

Chipotle uses claims like “GMO-free” to make its food seem better. However, genetically improved foods are overwhelmingly recognized by scientists to be just as healthy and safe as conventional food. But Chipotle’s burritos aren’t exactly the paragon of health food: The typical order at Chipotle has about 1,070 calories, according to The New York Times.

The site also takes aim at Chipotle’s hypocritical and shifting stance on antibiotic use and animal housing.

“Chipotle claims to be ethical but its ‘Food with Integrity’ marketing doesn’t have any filling. It’s an empty ploy that is highly unscientific and harms animal welfare,” Will Coggin, director of research at the Center for Consumer Freedom, said. “Considering how Chipotle ignores scientists and experts, ‘Food with Hypocrisy’ would be a more honest slogan.”

The ad can be viewed here: http://www.chubbychipotle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Chubby_Chipotle_Final.pdf
The website can be viewed here: www.ChubbyChipotle.com

GMOs: As the recently filed lawsuit against it shows, Chipotle’s stance on GMOs is inconsistent, as many beverages are sweetened with genetically modified corn. But the “GMO-free” label is nothing more than a deceptive marketing ploy because genetically improved foods are overwhelmingly recognized by scientists to be completely as safe as other foods. The Washington Post criticized Chipotle’s GMO stance.

Health halo: Chipotle uses its “Food with Integrity” marketing ploy to make its menu seem better for people, but as The New York Times noted, “The typical order at Chipotle has about 1,070 calories. That’s more than half of the calories that most adults are supposed to eat in an entire day.”

Antibiotics: Chipotle backtracked from its “no antibiotics ever” stance and now allows its new European pork supplier to use them (which also calls into question the company’s “buy local” shtick). Like the “no GMO” claim, “antibiotic-free” is also an empty slogan. Conventionally raised livestock go through a federally mandated waiting period to ensure antibiotics don’t enter the food supply. Chipotle itself admits this, along with the fact that its no-antibiotics-ever policy may lead to greater “herd losses”—just not in its marketing.

Animal housing: Chipotle also asserts that it supports animal welfare by forbidding its suppliers from using individual maternity pens (also called gestation stalls) to house pregnant pigs. This is yet another hollow promise from Chipotle as both the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians determined that maternity pens provide for animal welfare.

Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit www.ConsumerFreedom.com.

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