Can Chipotle Change the Way We Eat?
Recently Chipotle Mexican Grill came out with a new, some might say, brilliant, marketing campaign.
Along with a video game they launched a music video with Fiona Apple covering the classic song “Pure Imagination” from the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
The video, made in partnership with the Academy Award winning Moonbot Studios, takes us on a macabre journey of a scarecrow’s transformation from the world of factory-farmed foods to fresh-from-the-garden delights.
He witnesses the literal factory outpouring of 100% beef-ish products, he sees chickens being injected with chemicals that turn them from regular-sized to overly plump, as well as dead frozen cows stacked and over-populating a freezer.
After taking the train and seeing Crow Farms feeding the world through their lack of actual fields of crops he soon stumbles upon an organic farm in the middle of nowhere, where he becomes enlightened to the world of actual vegetables.
Of course, there’s the not-so-subtle chipotle pepper that inspires him to go back to the city and create fresh tacos to revolutionize society’s eating culture.
Ever since Chipotle open in 1993 they have advertised themselves as the “alternative to fast food,” and that has seemed to work very well for them. At this point, they have grown to almost 1,500 stores and make over $800 million in revenue a year.
Yes, they attempt at being a more sustainable business, they support local farmers, use non-antibiotic-injected dairy cows, purchase naturally raised beef, use 40% organic beans…but can we really trust them?
Perhaps I’m jaded by capitalism but can a large-scale company actually make a positive difference on our culture, particularly our eating choices?
Could they still just be preaching to the choir? I mean, how many non-hipsters love Fiona Apple? How many people who consume factory-farmed food are actually going to watch this? And then stop?
I suppose the point is that even if only one does, at least one does.
Now, I love Fiona Apple and I love me a good taco, but I’m wary when a company makes political statements.
Perhaps it’s because they are using these politics to create even more of a profit for their company, which makes me wonder how much is about actual caring and how much is about the actual money from this rising food awareness market.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise