At this point, anyone who can count knows a Chipotle burrito is a calorie bomb. Delicious, but a calorie bomb no less. And after a rough 2016, full of face-saving freebies, the fast-casual chain could really use some good press.
Today is not the day that good press comes.
Upon the nationwide launch of its newest protein, chorizo, Chipotle has prominently advertised the new menu option, with a "Featured Item" poster saying, "Try our new deliciously seasoned, perfectly grilled spicy chicken and pork sausage in a burrito with white rice, black beans, fresh tomato salsa, and a sprinkle of cheese."
That chorizo burrito sounds wonderful. Problem is, the ad lists the chorizo burrito at 300 calories.
Now, again, to think a whole Chipotle burrito was only 300 calories is misguided. The Chipotle calorie calculator suggests a chorizo burrito with rice, beans, salsa, sour cream and cheese is 1165 calories.
But there it is in print, on the poster, right above your fast-casual assembly line. Plenty of people are tweeting about it.
To wit, the tortilla alone has 300 calories. Chipotle's tried to reply to mitigate the confusion online, but that's not the end of the story.
In fact, according to MyNewsLA, three plaintiffs have filed a class action lawsuit against Chipotle for providing "false nutritional information," claiming “consumers are lulled into a false belief that the items they are eating are healthier than they really are."
One plaintiff stated in the complaint he "felt excessively full and realized that the burrito couldn’t have been just 300 calories."
While that conclusion did not require the logic of Sherlock Holmes, the lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages and an injunction against similar ads that could contain misleading nutritional information.
All in all, it's more bad news for Chipotle when it could really use some good news, following 2015's food-borne illness scare and bad press that has seen the company's stock drop by 40% in just a year.