This week, Chipotle made major headlines when it announced it will stop serving GMO-derived foods in its restaurants. Chipotle has been a leader in more ‘ethical’ and humane supply chains, earlier this year suspending the sale of pork due to supplier issues regarding animal treatment. This latest announcement is a bold move in an industry where low-cost menu offerings have been the hallmark of competition.
So what do consumers think of this announcement? Two days ago, we launched a new poll question to our national network: “Are you more likely to eat at a restaurant that does not use GMO foods?” We found that 19% of consumers say “yes, definitely” to this question, with another 12% are undecided.
We also looked at other existing GMO-related questions in our library and cross-tabbed them against a question about their affinity towards Chipotle.
What we learned is that those with strong anti-GMO positions can be found on both ends of the Chipotle fan spectrum — they over index as Chipotle lovers as well as Chipotle detractors:
- Chipotle fans said they’d be more likely to eat at a non-GMO restaurant.
- Chipotle fans are 65% more likely to say they are “well informed or experts” on the topic of GMO foods.
- Chipotle detractors (who said “I don’t like it” to eating there) are 18% more likely to also say they are experts or well informed on GMO matters.
- Chipotle fans are 50% more likely to say the presence of GMOs affects their grocery purchase decisions.
- Chipotle detractors are 30% more likely to say the presence of GMOs affects their grocery purchase decisions.
Based on these quick-hit insights, it seems that Chipotle’s announcement may give its current non-fans a strong reason to revisit the menu, since this news will align strongly with their core values. Certainly more growth for Chipotle will make others in the sector sweat, but would certainly also be proof-positive that corporate responsibility can prevail over 99-cent / BOGO menu gimmicks.