Chipotle Mexican Grill to release pollo asado as latest limited-time menu item – CNBC

Chipotle Mexican Grill releases pollo asado for a limited time.

Source Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced Thursday it is launching pollo asado as it latest limited-time menu item in the U.S. and Canada.

The pollo asado is made with grilled chicken, garlic, fresh lime, guajillo peppers and hand-chopped cilantro.

It marks the first time since its founding that Chipotle has released another chicken option. Its existing adobo chicken is the cheapest meat on its menu and its top-selling protein option.

“Chicken is easily our most popular protein, with many of our most loyal Chipotle customers ordering it the majority of the time,” Chief Marketing Officer Chris Brandt said in a statement.

An entree with pollo asado will sell for an average price of $9.11 in the U.S., 65 cents more expensive than the standard chicken option.

The burrito chain tested the pollo asado at dozens of restaurants in Cincinnati and Sacramento starting in November. Chipotle said feedback and sales for the test were on pair with those for its smoked brisket, the chain’s bestselling new menu item in recent history.

The smoked brisket and pollo asado launches are part of the company’s broader menu strategy.

The chain is known for its relatively short menu, but under CEO Brian Niccol, it has been branching out with limited-time items that draw customers to its restaurants. Before leading Chipotle, Niccol was chief executive of Taco Bell, which is owned by Yum Brands and known for its varied menu with many rotating options.

Shares of Chipotle have fallen 2% in the last 12 months, dragging its market value down to $38.9 billion. While its sales growth has been strong, investor fears about inflation and broader market volatility have weighed on its performance.

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