Chipotle has tested brisket. It has gone live with quesadillas and cauliflower rice after extensive testing.. Now, the burrito giants wants to tackle the surging world of plant-based meat and is apparently OK with taking a shot or two at industry leaders Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.
The company revealed Thursday it has started testing plant-based chorizo at restaurants in Denver and Indianapolis. Instead of partnering with a Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods like others in fast food, Chipotle said it developed its own plant-based faux sausage.
The chorizo — which Chipotle says took a year to develop —includes: ancho chili, Chipotle peppers, tomato paste, crushed garlic, smoked paprika, olive oil and pea protein.
"Chipotle’s breakthrough new Plant-Based Chorizo has the deep rich flavor of Chorizo and is made with ingredients grown on a farm, not in a lab," Chipotle said in a statement, taking a thinly veiled shot at the development process at Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.
The restaurant chain said it's still evaluating a national rollout of plant-based chorizo.
"Ongoing menu innovation continues to be a top priority for Chipotle and the brand is leveraging its stage-gate process to listen, test and learn from customer feedback, and iterate before deciding on a national launch strategy for Plant-Based Chorizo," Chipotle added.
Chipotle shares rose 1% in afternoon trading Thursday on the news. The stock continues to hover around record highs as Chipotle is fresh off a 31.2% same-store sales increase for the second quarter. Earnings for the quarter crushed analyst estimates, too.
On the other hand, Beyond Meat shares fell 2% on the news as it appears Chipotle may not become a customer in the near-term.
Impossible Foods, which remains a private company, recently unveiled a new sausage product of its own that the company's president, Dennis Woodside, talked about on Yahoo Finance Live earlier this month.
Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.
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