Chipotle Introduces New Queso Blanco Nationwide

Chipotle's newest menu item, Queso Blanco, will be available nationwide starting Thursday.
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Chipotle Mexican Grill  (CMG) - Get Report, the casual fast-food restaurant chain, announced that its newest menu item, Queso Blanco, will be available nationwide starting Thursday.

The item is a melted white cheese dip and replaces the chain’s prior cheese dip (queso). The new recipe is made up of 13 “real” ingredients, the company said in a statement. That includes Monterey Jack cheese, white cheddar cheese, and serrano, poblano and chipotle peppers to provide spice.

Just like all of Chipotle's dishes, Queso Blanco contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, the company said.

“The Monterey Jack cheese is made from dairy supplied by small and mid-size family farms in Wisconsin, adhering to Chipotle's 'Food with Integrity' standards,” the company said.

“This sourcing practice aligns with the brand's larger efforts to support local farmers who are committed to raising or growing ingredients with the welfare of animals and the environment top of mind.”

Chipotle introduced its first queso in September 2017. That didn’t go over too well with customers, some of whom denigrated it as the worst queso they ever tasted. The tumult came to be known as queso-gate, and the restaurant changed its recipe that December.

With queso blanco, Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol, who took over in 2018, has added three new items to Chipotle's menu.

Chipotle plans to keep adding one or two menu items per year. It's testing quesadillas and beverages, and Niccol told Bloomberg this month that Chipotle is considering a cauliflower rice concoction and more black bean-based selections.

Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy sees Chipotle’s shares as overvalued. He wrote in a report last week that the company’s recovery from several food safety-related incidents will likely be “uneven and unlikely to share the same trajectory that other restaurant chains in similar situations faced in the past.”

Hottovy says the stock’s fair value is $730.

At last check, Chipotle’s shares traded at $864.90, up 1.04%.