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Chipotle is rolling out its Chicken al Pastor globally

Chipotle Mexican Grill introduces Chicken al Pastor as first global LTO

The new protein tested last year is now available in five countries

Chipotle Mexican Grill is offering the Chicken al Pastor it tested in Denver and Indianapolis last August as a systemwide limited-time offer starting March 14.

The newer protein option, priced 50 cents higher than the chain’s Adobo Chicken, is marinated in a sweet-and-spicy combination of adobo, Morita peppers, achiote, pineapple, lime, and cilantro and will be available worldwide — in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany — for an unspecified limited time, the fast-casual chain based in Newport Beach, Calif., said.

It offers a sweeter and fruitier flavor profile than the chain’s Adobo Chicken.

To promote the item, Chipotle is offering a $0 delivery fee for all Chicken al Pastor orders placed through its app or its website from March 16 through March 26.

The chain said this is the first time it has launched an item simultaneously across all five countries in which it operates.

Chipotle owns more than 3,200 restaurants globally.

“Guests are looking to restaurants for unique menu items they cannot make at home, and al pastor has been gaining mass appeal in recent years,” Chipotle chief marketing officer Chris Brandt said in a release announcing the rollout. “We’ve put our own spicy spin on al pastor with our freshly grilled chicken and have created a truly delicious menu item that fans will crave. It’s where fire meets flavor.”

Traditionally, a taco al pastor is made with pork roasted on a vertical spit topped with a pineapple that bastes the meat as it cooks.

Chipotle’s chicken version is available as an option in its burritos, burrito bowls, salads, quesadillas, and tacos.

The initial test of the item was at 94 restaurants in Denver and Indianapolis.

For many years, Chipotle rarely introduced new menu items, but it has been on a roll recently with the introduction of cauliflower ricea seasonal watermelon limeade LTO, and a test of the Garlic Guajillo Steak at 102 locations nationwide. The Pollo Asado LTO, released a year ago, was its first new chicken menu item in 29 years. 

This year the chain has been responding to consumer demand by curating new formulations of what it already has in its pantry, such as the Fajita Quesadilla that was first dreamed up by TikTok influencers.

Since all of Chipotle’s menu items are customizable, guests could have ordered quesadillas stuffed with meat and the onion-and-pepper combination often called fajita veggies on their own, but Chipotle made them available on its app to promote them.

Similarly, in the new year Chipotle added curated bowls suited to specific diets.

Those items are different from new proteins, such as the chicken al pastor, which introduce unique new flavors to the restaurants.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

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