Chipotle Unveils Cauliflower Rice Amid Healthy-Food Demand

By introducing cilantro-lime cauliflower rice, Chipotle seeks to take advantage of consumers' healthy-food enthusiasm.
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Chipotle Mexican Grill  (CMG) - Get Report on Monday unveiled a new offering, cilantro-lime cauliflower rice, seeking to take advantage of consumers' enthusiasm for healthy food.

The cauliflower rice is made with “freshly-grilled, riced cauliflower, finished with hand-chopped cilantro, lime, and salt, and prepared fresh in-restaurant every day,” the Newport Beach, Calif., company said

The option costs an additional $2 for tacos, burritos or bowls. It’s available now at U.S. and Canadian restaurants for a limited time. 

Cilantro-lime cauliflower rice has 4 grams of net carbohydrates per serving. Chipotle defines net carbs as total carbohydrates minus dietary fiber.

Chipotle’s stock at last check fell 4.8% to $1,320.60. It has jumped 54% over the past year amid strong sales during the covid pandemic.

Morningstar analyst Nicholas Johnson likes the company, but thinks the stock is overvalued, putting fair value at $1,000.

“[Investors] should prioritize those [restaurant] firms that have the scale to be more aggressive on pricing near term (value-oriented players tend to outperform during economic shocks); give their customers greater access through robust digital ordering, delivery, and drive-thru capabilities; and have healthy balance sheets,” he wrote last month.

“In our view, Chipotle meets these investment criteria. When combined with labor staffing efficiencies and streamlined operations, Chipotle continues to generate impressive restaurant-level profits and remains well positioned for significant market share gains, as the industry recovers.”

Further, “in our view, it's clear that [Chief Executive] Brian Niccol has restored Chipotle's foundation and positioned the company for above-industry growth for years to come,” Johnson said.