Chipotle is adding vegan and vegetarian options to the menu — here's why the CEO says it is happening now

ChipotleChipotle has meat-free options for Lent.
  • Chipotle added vegan and vegetarian options to the menu this week, as Lent begins.
  • “As we get ready to move into Lent or certain seasons where vegetarian or certain non-meat opportunities present themselves, nobody even knows we have sofritas,” CEO Brian Niccol told Business Insider in January.
  • Chains from McDonald’s to Chick-fil-A are attempting to accommodate Catholic customers who may abstain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent.

Chipotle is adding vegan and vegetarian options to the menu, as the chain attempts to compete with fast-food rivals eager to win over Catholic customers during Lent.

On Monday, Chipotle announced it would add a vegan bowl and a vegetarian bowl to the menu.


Read more:
Chipotle is adding new menu items to win over vegan and vegetarian customers, using an ingredient the CEO says ‘nobody’ knows about

The bowls are an extension of Chipotle’s “Lifestyle Bowls” line, which launched in January and highlights buzzy dieting trends, with the Paleo Salad Bowl, the Keto Salad Bowl, and the Whole30 Salad Bowl. All the bowls are available to purchase online or on the chain’s app.

The timing of the launch is intentional. As fast-food chains launch fish sandwiches to accommodate Catholic customers during Lent, when many abstain from meat on Fridays, Chipotle wants to make sure Americans know they have options at the fast-casual chain.

“As we get ready to move into Lent or certain seasons where vegetarian or certain non-meat opportunities present themselves, nobody even knows we have sofritas,” CEO Brian Niccol told Business Insider in January.

Niccol continued: “Frankly, even if they know we do have sofritas, a lot of them don’t even know that it is plant-based.”

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