Chipotle Mexican Grill is stepping up its holiday-themed marketing in a big way this winter.
At one New York location the fast-casual chain has set up window displays that call to mind those seen at department stores. However in this case the items are all made from Chipotle ingredients.
For fans outside the city, there are rolls of Chipotle-style wrapping paper that, for $14, give the chain's biggest fans the ability to wrap their gifts to resemble Chipotle's foil-wrapped burritos, or to look like a giant box of salsa or guacamole.
Both efforts are new ways for the chain to promote its use of fresh ingredients. Chipotle has long emphasized its 51-ingredient list, and this year it has stepped up the messaging in its "For Real" campaign overseen by CMO Chris Brandt.
At the New York restaurant, there's a new display this week for each weekday. Monday's Christmas tree showcased plenty of romaine lettuce; an interesting choice given the recent E.Coli infections linked to the leafy green in a dozen states. Chipotle, of course, faced major brand damage from an E.coli outbreak in 2015 and other food safety concerns that led it to adopt new training and food preparation techniques.
Chipotle's festive window displays are all being done by husband and wife team Jim Victor and Marie Pelton. "[Working with mexican food] is fantastic actually," Pelton told Ad Age. "We really like working with the ingredients, especially the dry ingredients. It has great color and great texture and it was really a thrill." Their prior food brand work includes intricate designs for Hershey, Mars and Subway.