Chipotle Mexican Grill is taking another unconventional marketing tack, this time in collaboration with a usual adversary of chain restaurants and quick-service concepts in particular, Slow Food USA.
Under what Chipotle termed a “partnership,” the burrito chain will provide $500,000 to build or sustain about 100 school gardens in 10 U.S. metropolitan areas. Slow Food will provide additional funding and a model curriculum for teaching youngsters about food.
“With this new partnership, we want to give children access t a hands-on learning experience at their schools, to teach them how food is grown, and the importance of cooking and healthy eating,” Chipotle CMO Mark Crumpacker said in a statement.
Chipotle’s claim of delivering “food with a difference” is the cornerstone of the fast-casual powerhouse’s marketing strategy. The message is delivered in a variety of unconventional means, including Chipotle-sponsored food and music festivals, the airing of documentaries that criticize the traditional food supply chain, and the use of YouTube videos to contrast sustainable agriculture with so-called food-factories.
Slow Food is an international organization that aims to promote the pleasures and rituals of a leisurely shared meal. The emphasis is on savoring food, not convenience and speedy consumption.