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Chipotle Gearing Up For Second Attack On Modern Agriculture

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Chipotle is gearing up for another attack on modern agriculture. How will the negative campaign impact beef producers? 

As BEEF Editor Joe Roybal so aptly puts it, “It looks like Chipotle is doubling down against agriculture.” As if being named the worst advertisement in 2013 by the Wall Street Journal for its attack on industrial agriculture in its “Scarecrow” campaign wasn’t bad enough, now Chipotle is trumpeting a new campaign called “Farmed and Dangerous.”

The fast-food burrito chain describes it as an “original comedy series that satirically explores the world of industrial agriculture in America.” It consists of a four-episode season that will air on Hulu and Hulu Plus beginning on Feb. 17.

“Much of our marketing is aimed at making consumers more curious about where their food comes from and how it is prepared,” says Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle. “By making complex issues about food production more understandable -- even entertaining -- we are reaching people who have not typically been tuned into these types of issues.”

This is Chipotle’s third campaign attacking modern agriculture. Last year’s “Scarecrow” ad followed a 2011 campaign, “Back to the Start,” both of which had sinister tones and used fear-mongering to sell the chain’s “mostly” natural burritos.

 

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Of course, this is hypocritical as the chain recently announced that it would be filling their burrito shells with conventional beef due to a shortage of natural beef. Funny how they say one thing and do another, all the while continuing to scare people about the foods they eat.

I don’t know about you, but there are plenty of other places to get a decent burrito in this country. I think I’ll continue to pass on Chipotle and eat elsewhere. Not only do they continue to bash agriculture, but the chain also supports HSUS. The campaign might end up being a flop, but it will undoubtedly reach some consumers who will take the information at face value. This will result in more doubt, confusion and mistrust at the meat counter, and will ultimately hurt beef producers, as well. 

What do you think about Chipotle’s big announcement? Will this campaign be as big of a flop as the last one? How seriously do you think consumers take such information? How do you think it will impact beef producers in the long haul? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 22

averageman (not verified)
on Jan 28, 2014

Overheard at a café near Denver University concerning the first news of possible health risk related to BSE, "Macdonald's is safe to eat because he has his own farm"
In this culture, with help like Chiplotes, who needs enemies.

Ed (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

STOP eating at these Chiplotes dives. NO money means no advertising. "BOYCOTT"

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 30, 2014

Pulled into a Chiplotes last Saturday while out shopping then remembered they hate farmers and real food. Did an about face and went to a real eatery that promotes real food Chik-fil-A and being Christians ~ WOW ~ what a double concept! Love my Beef and we promote other forms of agriculture.

W.E. (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

Best place to get a decent burrito? Your own kitchen.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

How about their suppliers stop selling them Meat! See how profitable they would be then!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

Yes. This would do it. Simple but brilliant.

Tired_of_dumb_people (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

How dumb can people be about food production practices? Do Chip-Old_Teez a favor and drive right on by. I don't even like the taste of their stuff. The "music" trash playing at a location near me is so loud and crappy you can't carry on a conversation. Put them out of their misery with your pocketbook.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

I truly hope that this doesn't get spread around too much. In this case, any publicity is good publicity. They are SIMI.g this towards the ignorant, and all the ignorant need is exposure to radicalism. This is scary. Why does it all have to be split in two. I vote bipartisan food.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

Looks very funny. I will watch now. Thanks for heads up. The worst thing that can happen is a stupid knee jerk from beef industry. I cringe sometimes at the reactions from marketing experts who really think cows can explode. One word "Oprah". Shhhh.

Hogvet (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

I haven't eaten at chipolte for a number of years now...pork was the first meat in their sights. They touted Neiman Ranch pork for having better taste...what a joke! When they mix it with the burrito spices it could be burro and you wouldn't know it. What toasted me was the price...pork was the highest priced item on the menu and likely still is. I will support any fast food with the cahunas to stand up to the activists. HSUS and PETA ultimately want everyone to stop eating meat...let's see how chipolte does with tofu burritos!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

Who was the dairy guy that whey got the cow from. Maybe we need to go after that guy for enabling Chipotle. When someone wants to use your tame cow in an ad you might want to ask what for, before you ask how much.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

Does anyone have their email. It's most effective if WE let them WE will not eat there from now on. Pass the word to others

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

It is amazing what is floating around. Recently I have heard of dairy cow abuse in the form of leaving milking machines on a cow for 72 straight hours, and that it is common practice to fed plastic pellets for roughage. Scary how many believe those things.

Bobv (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

This article and many of the posts that follow show clearly why we have a problem getting non-ag people to understand our issues. We need to start understanding that a percentage of the 99% of the population not involved in agriculture do care about where their food comes from. Why in South Dakota are we trying to promote South Dakota Beef, why has the Angus label become important, why has COOL moved forward?

We need to understand the needs of our customers. Instead of calling Chipotle hypocrites for using regular beef instead of natural and complaining that they are charging more for pork we need to take this as an opportunity. They don't have enough natural beef (that they are likely paying a premium for)? Maybe we should produce more of this higher cost product. Maybe we should be doing a better job of selling ourselves to people like Chipotle.

It's time people climbed down from the soapbox and stop trying to get people to understand just how wonderful we are. We need to stop talking and start listening to what people want especially when it comes to higher margin products. Some one is going to fill these needs. Will it be you or the ranch down the road?

W. Vanderwert (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

Well said "Bobv". When Chipotle announced that they needed to use some regular beef, producers cheered thinking they caved. BUT, the sad thing is that we were not able to produce enough product to fill their demand. Ag producers always want to educate consumers. What we really want to do is tell anyone who is willing to pay a premium price for natural, organic, cage-free, etc, etc. that they are stupid....in what business does that work? Chipotle has excellent quality food, we have two stores in town and they always have a line. Last time they reported quarterly earnings their stock went up $70.00/share in a single day. They report again tomorrow I don't think that it will be that rosy because their costs have no doubt risen like every other restaurant.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

Only if we could starve those that fight us. It really hurts us when they create these ads and movies but it never hurts them.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

I'll stick to the locally owned burrito shop.

steven (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

Sounds like a couple commenters may own stock in Chipotle. But I think they are missing the point. I really don't care if they are marketing organic beef. But they do it by demonizing the rest of the industry. Rest assured that many non-ag people will believe that we feed petroleum pellets to cattle. Even though they spin this as a comedy with the exploding cow, people will still believe the pellet line. We do need to educate consumers about what we do, but I firmly believe that food produced by conventional agriculture is as safe as organic food. This isn't about food safety, this is about Chipotle trying to scare people into coming to their place to eat. I've never respected liars or people who have to tear someone else down to build themselves up, and I have no respect for Chipotle.

on Jan 29, 2014

If you want to eat a organic burrito, or want to sell "organic" beef. Go a head doesn't bother me one bit. But when you start saying that "non-organically" grown beef is some how deadly to people, and animals, you've gone to far, and need to be knocked in the head.

Mark Albrecht (not verified)
on Jan 29, 2014

Food with integrity? If I truly believe modern raised meat is ruining the world but will use that meat if it is the only way I can make a buck.Or I spend that buck to ruin the families who care for the animals that provide my safe and affordable food. Integrity must have a different meaning at Chipotle.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 4, 2014

Obviously, this "factory", fast-food chain has no idea about the investment and dedication farmers give to grow food. The satire makes no sense at all. Chipotle enjoys biting the hand that keeps them in job security.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 7, 2014

Very simple, cut off their beef supplies and see what their revenue does! How long will they hold out? Not long, I opine. Surely they are astute enough to know where their product originates!? Some business we just don't need.

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”

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A fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, SD, Amanda grew up on a purebred Limousin cattle operation in which she and husband Tyler are active. She graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism...

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