Daily Insights

Less Carbon, More Carbs

By: Mackenzie Baker | Dec 09, 2020

Chipotle gives diners a real look at their food with the launch of its “Real Foodprint” sustainability tracker. 

Chipotle’s app includes a new feature that measures the environmental sustainability of a meal. With the Real Foodprint tracker, Chipotle diners can see if what they are ordering could help save environmental resources, as the app shows exact measurements based on orders. The tracker is broken down into five categories, including carbon waste, gallons of water saved, improved soil health, avoided antibiotics, and use of organic land. Data will appear after a user tracks their order on the app, with metrics available to be saved and shared via text message and social media. The information is analyzed by sustainable food database HowGood, which partnered with Chipotle exclusively for the feature. To help explain how the tracker works, Chipotle took to TikTok to tap science influencer Bill Nye to walk viewers through metrics. Chipotle has one of the largest brand followings on TikTok according to a Gartner report, so using the platform to promote the new feature could spur an increase in app downloads and online orders as users rush to try the tracker for themselves. 

The Real Foodprint feature makes Chipotle one of the latest restaurants to unveil a sustainability initiative during the Coronavirus pandemic. Competitors including Just Salad, Panera, and Sweetgreen have launched their own carbon trackers recently in a bid to help consumers feel more informed about their eating habits and their effects on the environment. With consumer demand for wellness and eco-conscious products growing in the past few years, rolling out accessible features like the Real Foodprint tracker could help Chipotle boost its connection with environmentally-focused customers. Building the tracker into its popular mobile app could result in increased usage, as customers can track their food without putting in additional effort or having to download another app. As such, Real Foodprint could retain relevance for longer and become a go-to for customers ordering on the app. Additionally, younger consumers have a heightened interest in sustainability and are also more likely to use a restaurant’s app, so Chipotle’s Real Foodprint could win over a larger Gen-Z audience. By turning to TikTok, which also caters primarily to Gen Zers, Chipotle could further its digital dominance while continuing to build up a benevolent image. 

With the Real Foodprint feature, Chipotle could keep customers informed and interested in food’s impact on the environment. By stepping up its eco-friendly initiatives in this way, Chipotle could resonate with environmentally conscious consumers and lead the way in restaurant sustainability.