Chipotle is rolling out Sofritas, or spicy tofu, as one of the proteins it offers.
The company debuted the item in San Francisco in February, and has since expanded the test market to Northern California.
Sofritas is “the spice blend used to season the shredded tofu, and the dishes are braised with chipotle chilies, roasted poblano peppers, and a blend of aromatic spices,” SFWeekly reports.
In Spanish and Latin American cultures, a sofrito is a sauce created with a saute of peppers, tomatoes, onion and garlic.
The current expansion in California points to a much wider roll-out soon, said Rick Munarriz at The Motley Fool.
The tofu comes at a good time for Chipotle, as investors are worried that the chain’s rapid expansion has come to an end. Shares have declined 22 per cent in the past year.
“It can use a kick, and tofu may be the answer at a company that prides itself on its very limited menu,” Munarriz said.
Chipotle’s current proteins include carnitas (shredded pork), chicken, steak, and barbacoa (shredded beef).
Until now, vegetarians could only order black beans on their burritos. The company’s pinto beans contain pork.
But Chipotle should test outside of Northern California before rolling out tofu nationwide.
The Bay Area is known for its large vegetarian population, so the item is likely to succeed there. Selling tofu to people in other regions might be more difficult.
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