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Your summer must-have isn’t a pair of rose-gold sandals, it’s Chipotle’s new queso dip…
On Monday, Chipotle Mexican Grill gave the world a serious treat when the company debuted queso dip at their public test kitchen in New York City, the NEXT Kitchen. The beloved Tex-Mex dunking sauce accompanied a few other new possible menu items, including two kinds of frozen margaritas (one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic), and a salad.
As for why they went the way of the cheese all of the sudden? Chief Marketing Officer Mark Crumpacker told USA Today, “Queso is something that’s been requested from us for many, many years. Pretty much since we started.”
Crumpacker expects that he expects the cheesy favorite to be taste tested for about a month at the NEXT Kitchen and then possibly roll out in different markets across the country, potentially starting with California and Colorado.
In an internal memo to staff, CEO Steve Ells said the arrival of queso was brought on by popular demand.
“All of our competitors sell queso, and we know some customers don’t come to Chipotle because we don’t offer it,” said Ells. “But because we refuse to use industrial additives, added colors, flavors or preservatives in our food, it’s very difficult to make queso that meets our standards.”
The new dip does not have nutrition facts as it’s just been debuted but Chipotle promises that it’s “gluten-free, non-GMO and free of preservatives.”
The new menu items are part of $50 million marketing plan that the Mexican chain is hoping will take them out of their 2016 slump, which was brought on by a damaging E. coli outbreak.
Chipotle is hoping that the new additions will bring customers (and dollars back) after the company’s suffered a 95% profit drop in 2016 after the health scare.
If queso can’t bring people back, we don’t know what can…