Chipotle Considers 'Suspending' Guacamole
The burrito god giveth and the burrito god taketh away, or so it seems to be. Just days after finally bestowing tofu on parts of the northeast, Chipotle reportedly revealed it may be forced to suspend guacamole and salsa sales due to rising food costs. More specifically, rising food costs due to climate change.
"Increasing weather volatility or other long-term changes in global weather patterns, including any changes associated with global climate change, could have a significant impact on the price or availability of some of our ingredients," read the language in a recent SEC filing by the Denver-based chain. The company indicated it may "choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients." The move may "negatively impact" the restaurant chain but it won't be willing to pony up the extra cash or compromise its commitment to sustainable farming.
The chain insists it's just the kind of thing it's required to say. "This is strictly routine 'risk factor' language as part of the annual financial disclosure," the chain explained to Business Insider. The website notes that public companies are also legally required to disclose things like labor cost, food-borne illness and business competition in their SEC reports.
Still, the science behind the report's language rings true. Last season, Hass avocados from Southern California suffered some shrinkage due to dry weather conditions and "erratic bee activity." Industry experts predict this season's crop to be a lower yield but with larger avocados, however climate scientists are predicting drier, hotter seasons, which could significantly affect California avocado production in the coming years.
Ditching guac from its menu would be a significant change for the company, which blows through about 97,000 pounds of avocado daily, or roughly 35.4 million pounds annually. It's a bleak outlook considering we're probably screwed when it comes to reversing climate change.