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Chipotle to test cauliflower rice

Low-carb Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice will debut at 55 units this week as the fast-casual chain gauges customer and operator response before deciding on a national rollout.
Chipotle cauliflower rice
Photo courtesy of Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill will start testing a grain-free, low-carb rice alternative this week, the fast casual announced Monday.

The chain’s Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice will be rolled out at 55 units in Denver and Wisconsin. The menu item is made with grilled cauliflower, cilantro, lime juice and salt and will be prepared in each restaurant every day.

“To date, one out of three new menu requests from Chipotle customers is for cauliflower rice,” CMO Chris Brandt said in a statement.

The test item, which has four net carbs per serving complies with a variety of diets, including keto, Whole30 and Paleo. In restaurants where it is available, it can be ordered in place of white or brown rice. Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice costs an additional $2.

Cauliflower rice is being tested via Chipotle’s “stage-gate” process, which lets the company test new items, listen to customer feedback, and iterate before embarking on a national product launch.

Chipotle has used this process to roll out three new menu items over the last year, including Carne Asada, Supergreens Salad Mix and Queso Blanco.

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