Industry News | July 1, 2011

Chipotle Rewards Gold with Green

A four day-old baby, appropriately dubbed “Our Four Day Old Burrito,” was chosen as the winner of Chipotle Mexican Grill’s “Wrap What You Love” contest. The contest challenged the creativity of Chipotle’s customers who submitted photos of their favorite things wrapped in gold foil.

The company is celebrating its 18th anniversary by wrapping its burritos in gold foil instead of its signature aluminum foil to signify high quality ingredients that are “good as gold.”

The winning entry, created by Eric Timperley from Lincoln, Nebraska, was deemed the most worthy gold creation by both popular vote and the Chipotle judges. Timperley and his special gold burrito baby will be awarded the $10,000 grand prize and bragging rights for the most creative and popular entry.

“We received more than 1,300 entries, from a piano to a dinosaur and beyond, all wrapped gold foil, just like we are using to wrap our burritos this spring to celebrate 18 years of serving the best quality ingredients,” says Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s chief marketing officer. “In the end, who could resist Eric’s burrito baby? People who went online to vote loved that picture, and so did we.”

For each vote an entry received, Chipotle contributed $1 to FamilyFarmed.org, with a total contribution of $96,095, in support of its programs to help family farmers bring more food to local markets.

Inspired by tutorial videos featuring comedian and best-selling author Amy Sedaris on wrapping things you love in gold, Timperley decided to use his Midas touch to swaddle his newborn infant in gold foil, while other finalists tackled the wrapping of items including a surfboard and wetsuit, shown in action riding a wave, a five-person band, and a refrigerator and all of its contents.

In addition to the grand prize, the company awarded a 1.4-ounce 24-karat gold Chipotle coin for its favorite submissions each week, with five coins awarded in all. Timperley’s “Four Day Old Burrito” also won this People’s Choice Award twice, in addition to his Grand Prize win.

The contest was an extension of Chipotle’s “Unlimited Time Only” campaign, where the company is wrapping its burritos in gold foil (rather than the iconic aluminum foil) to call attention to its better ingredients from more sustainable sources, a commitment Chipotle calls “Food With Integrity.” The overall ad campaign launched on March 1 and ran through June.

Through its commitment to Food With Integrity, Chipotle serves more naturally raised meat than any other restaurant company in the country—more than 100 million pounds in all for 2011. Chipotle is also the only national restaurant chain with significant commitments to local and organically grown produce and was the first to serve dairy products made with milk from cows that are never given the synthetic hormone rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone). Today, Chipotle is actively working to increase its use of dairy from cows that are raised outdoors on open pastures.