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Chipotle's Highly-Anticipated New Menu Item Is Here

The chain is taking its latest vegan protein nationwide.

Chipotle's small market test of a new vegan protein is now going nationwide. Back in August of 2021, Chipotle began offering a Plant-Based Chorizo in Denver and Indianapolis, and thanks to an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from those who have tried it, the new plant-based option is now available at all Chipotle restaurants across the country.

According to a press release, the Chorizo launches this week and will be offered for a limited time only. But pending more enthusiasm and customer demand, the new item could join chicken, steak, barbacoa, carnitas, and sofritas as a permanent offering in the future.

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The vegan chorizo is made primarily from protein sourced from fresh, farm-grown peas (something the chain emphasizes in contrast to lab-grown "meat".) The pea protein base is flavored using chipotle peppers, tomato paste, garlic, paprika, and olive oil, and it offers 16 grams of protein in a 4-ounce serving, which is notably higher than the 11 grams of protein found in a comparable portion of another plant-based favorite, sofritas.

Along with the chorizo, Chipotle has also unveiled three new Lifestyle Bowls that will feature the new protein. These include the Whole30 Salad Bowl, the Vegetarian Bowl, and the Vegan Bowl, which are all part of a healthy menu that caters to people following specific diets.

Chipotle's choice to go nationwide with a new vegan menu option is in stark contrast to the experience of its competitor, Taco Bell, which late last year decided to go back to the drawing board with its plant-based carne asada.

Despite raising its menu prices significantly last year, Chipotle is experiencing a meteoric rise and is set to undergo major growth. In last month's interview with CNN, CEO Brian Niccol confirmed that the chain is hoping to double in size—from 3,000 to 6,000 locations—in the foreseeable future.

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Steven John
Steven John is a freelancer writer for Eat This, Not That! based just outside New York City. Read more about Steven