Chipotle Mexican Grill is out with a new short video and costume contest aimed at silencing critics of its non-GMO food effort with a bit of spooky fun.
The video shows what at first appears to be the typical ordering process at Chipotle, though it quickly twists into a somewhat creepy, additive-filled walk through "Cheapotle."
The "Endless Line" video was created by Piro, which also worked with Chipotle on its Farmed and Dangerous show.
Chipotle has been criticized in the past few months after announcing it had achieved its goal of using only non-GMO ingredients in its U.S. restaurants. A lawsuit was filed against the company in California, claiming some items sold in the restaurants indeed contain GMOs. And the Center for Consumer Freedom has been running a "Chubby Chipotle" ad campaign aimed at knocking down the popular chain's marketing claims. The organization will not disclose how much it is spending on the anti-Chipotle effort, or who is funding the campaign, other than to say there is not one donor or industry behind the effort.
Chipotle continues to shoot down any criticism. The company says it uses only 68 ingredients and simple cooking techniques in its kitchens, while suggesting other fast food chains have hundreds of items and prepare foods differently. The "Endless Line" video, for example, shows a line cook using an emulsifier, humectant and flavoring agent to prepare "beans to taste like beans."
Also on Monday, Chipotle announced its Halloween plan for 2015. Rather than just dressing up to get the company's annual discount, this year Chipotle said it wants to see people wearing costumes featuring one unnecessary item. The plan is to show customers that unnecessary additives in food -- which the company famously says it doesn't use -- are, well, unnecessary.
"We've always focused on sourcing the highest quality ingredients, and we are challenging our customers to learn about the unnecessary ingredients used in typical fast food by adding something 'unnecessary' to their costume," Mark Crumpacker, chief creative and development officer, said in a statement.
Those who play along will receive a $3 burrito, bowl, salad or tacos from 5 p.m. to close on Oct. 31. Proceeds, up to $1 million, will benefit the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which provides resources to farmers and supports cooking education and nutritious eating.