Industry News | March 22, 2017 | By Danny Klein | QSR Exclusive Brief

Chipotle Hopes to Help Families with First TV Series

If your child has an affinity for snatching the household iPad and vanishing, here’s some exciting food for thought. On Wednesday, Chipotle released “RAD Lands,” an original video series aimed at helping families make responsible food choices.

Available exclusively on iTunes, the unbranded series features celebrity chefs, musicians, and YouTube personalities. Created in partnership with the team behind “Yo Gabba Gabba!” the series promises to engage audiences between the ages of 7 and 10 with conversation-driving topics that lead to better culinary choices.

“Chipotle is ensuring that better food is accessible to everyone,” says Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle, in a statement. “We created ‘RAD Lands’ to educate young eaters and their parents about food in an entertaining and engaging way. We don't advertise to kids so the show is completely unbranded. We hope that it sparks conversation and curiosity among families, ideally leading to smarter and more informed choices about food.”

Season one will cost just $4.99, including a free look at the first episode. The remaining five will run $1.99 each. In addition, Chipotle is donating $100,000 to the Chef Ann Foundation, a non-profit that works with schools nationwide to provide healthy and nutritious meals.

“RAD Lands,” will feature an animate segment called “The Cultivators.” Viewers can embark on a trip to save the galaxy’s plants and animals, all with a focus on preserving fresh food. The nemesis: a character looking to turn food into highly processed junk.

Some of the stars making an appearance include chefs Amanda Freitag, Michael Voltaggio, and Duff Goldman. Musicians Neon Trees, Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, Biz Markie, and Portugal. The Man, will also join the experience.

“Chipotle and the ‘RAD Lands’ series are a great fit with the values of my foundation,” says Ann Cooper, founder of the Chef Ann Foundation, in a release. “We are thrilled with the generous support from Chipotle and iTunes through this program, and hope it encourages others to contribute what they can to influence future generations’ views on food.”

Chipotle is also partnering with Discovery Education for a parallel project. The company, which provides digital education content for K—12 classrooms, is joining the venture for RAD Lands in School, an online program for elementary students launching in the spring. Episodes will be paired with lesson plans and activities to reinforce the themes.

Discovery Education is hosting a nationwide virtual field trip in the fall for students and teachers that will combine food literacy experts and the RAD Lands content.

“RAD Lands In School offers educators and students a way to explore where fresh food comes from and how it can support a healthy lifestyle in a fun and compelling way,” says Lori McFarling, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer of Discovery Education, in a statement. “We are pleased to partner with Chipotle on this effort to start conversations with students about health and nutrition, farming and food, through vibrant content and easy to use activities.”