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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