Chipotle testing first new chicken ‘innovation’ in 28 years, but only in select states

National

Chipotle is testing its second-ever chicken option at restaurants across Cincinnati and Sacramento. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Chipotle is expanding its chicken options for the first time in the company’s history.

This week, the fast-casual restaurant chain announced pollo asado as the newest protein to debut on the Chipotle menu — and also its second-ever chicken option. The protein, however, is currently being tested in only two markets in Ohio and California.

“Chicken has long been the top protein choice among Chipotle guests,” said Chris Brandt, Chipotle’s Chief Marketing Officer, in a press release issued Tuesday. “With the celebrated Adobo chicken recipe already on our menu, we decided it was time to add another option and our new flavorful Pollo Asado chicken is another perfect complement to our real ingredients.”

Chipotle is testing its second-ever chicken option at restaurants across Cincinnati and Sacramento. (Chipotle)

Chipotle’s new chicken option is seasoned with cumin, guajillo pepper and coriander prior to cooking, then finished with garlic, chili pepper, lime and cilantro, according to Chipotle.

The chain’s existing chicken option, on the other hand, is seasoned with black pepper and chipotle pepper, according to a representative. The menu’s nutritional information says the chicken is also made with cumin and oregano.

The new pollo asado is currently available in 95 restaurants across Cincinnati and Sacramento. A representative for the brand said the Chipotle will “listen, test and learn” from customer feedback before deciding on a national launch.

News of Chipotle’s new chicken option comes less than two weeks after CEO Brian Niccol said Chipotle would be pulling its limited-time brisket offering from the menu earlier than planned, due largely to supply issues and consumer demand. The brisket, which debuted in late September, is slated to leave the menu after November.

“I’m guessing we’ll probably do brisket again at some point in the future,” Niccol said during an earnings call in October.

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