Chipotle wants you to flex your green thumb! The Mexican chain just announced that on Wednesday, March 20, it will debut its exclusive ‘Home Grown Chipotle’ boxes and make them available for purchase online.
The boxes, which will be available for a limited time, contain seeds, supplies and instructions for how to grow and nurture six vegetables integral to the fast-food restaurant’s menu: cilantro, tomato, pinto beans, jalapeño pepper, bell pepper and onion. In other words, the chain is encouraging customers to cultivate their own taco or burrito ingredients.
The boxes’ debut coincides with National Plant a Seed Day, which, as its name suggests, encourages people to hit the garden. “One of the things that makes Chipotle so unique is the dedication we have to real ingredients that are prepared fresh daily and sourced responsibly,” Caitlin Leibert, sustainability director at Chipotle, said via a press release. “We believe a strong connection to where your food comes from and how it was raised helps create a healthier lifestyle and ultimately cultivates a better world.”
Furthermore, all proceeds from the boxes will be donated to Big Green, a non-profit organization that aims to build a healthier future for kids by connecting them to real food through a nationwide network of learning gardens and food literacy programs.
With that in mind, Chipotle is also set to host a series of local fundraisers on Wednesday in the seven cities around the country where Big Green works: Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis and Pittsburgh. Additionally, 33 percent of all proceeds from customers who mention the fundraiser when dining at a Chipotle in these markets will go directly to Big Green.
Chipotle’s involvement with National Plant a Seed Day follows the launch of its latest menu innovation, plant-powered vegan and vegetarian bowls, and comes after a turbulent time for the California-based company. In July 2018, more than 700 customers fell ill after eating contaminated food at Chipotle, and dozens were sickened by E. coli after an outbreak of the food-borne illness was traced back to the chain in several states in 2016.
Since then, the restaurant has been placing an emphasis on its fresh ingredients. Case in point: In December 2018, a New York City Chipotle decorated its windows with a series of five unique displays that utilized only the 51 fresh ingredients found on Chipotle’s menu.
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