Chipotle's Latest Marketing Tactic Is Genius

Chipotle's latest partnership with Major League Soccer highlights the company's effective marketing tactics. It should add to brand strength and enhance long-term growth.

Mar 9, 2014 at 7:00AM

Just when I thought management at Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) couldn't get any smarter with their marketing tactics, the company announced a partnership with Major League Soccer. This latest move highlights Chipotle's direct focus on helping consumers live healthier lifestyles and should allow the company to further strengthen its already formidable reputation as the leading healthy alternative in the fast-casual dining segment.

Chipotle is one of several high-growth companies that continue to benefit from consumers' willingness to live active and healthier lifestyles. In addition to natural grocer Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) and apparel company Under Armour (NYSE:UA), Chipotle is a great way to capitalize on this seemingly unstoppable global trend.

Chipotle Mls

Source: Chipotle Website

Burritos and soccer?
Chipotle has become the "official" fast-casual Mexican restaurant of the soccer league and a dozen clubs. 

The sponsorship is the largest ever between Chipotle and a single sport, and will feature teams and individual players from around the league.

Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle, explained: "At the core of our effort to change the way people think about and eat fast food is our commitment to finding better, more sustainable sources for all of the ingredients we use."

But how exactly do burritos tie in with soccer? Crumpacker further explained: "That value is one that is often shared by people with an active lifestyle. This partnership with MLS will allow us to further engage consumers in a sport we have long supported through grassroots efforts."

In addition to hosting the inaugural Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game in August, as an added incentive Chipotle will feature a boy or girl as its Chipotle Youth Homegrown Athlete during 10 home games of each sponsored MLS club.

By focusing on the American market for soccer, Chipotle and MLS will be able to reach millions of youth soccer fans with the combined promotional strategy. One of the main goals is to impress upon the country's youth that living a healthy lifestyle is beneficial as well as fun.

Trending in the right direction
As was mentioned before, there has been a concerted effort by select companies in America to cater directly to health-conscious consumers. Well-managed companies like Chipotle, Whole Foods Market, and Under Armour have benefited tremendously by getting off to a fast and early start in capturing domestic consumers looking to lead more active and healthy lives.

Although each company provides different products and services, the target consumer base that each company reaches is largely the same. Chipotle offers fast-casual dining with a focus on providing high-quality, locally raised ingredients to consumers on the go. Whole Foods Market offers a wide variety of natural and organic foods to consumers looking to stock their fridges with healthy alternatives. Finally, Under Armour outfits many of the people who are looking to stay or become more active in their daily lives with performance-enhancing apparel, footwear, and accessories.

Although quite different businesses, the objectives of all three companies are largely the same: capture more health-conscious consumers and demand a premium for the above-average products/services provided. All three companies have been able to do this in the past and look set to continue doing so in the future. The following is a breakdown of all three companies' projected growth rates going forward:

CompanyRevenue Growth 2014EPS Growth 2014
Chipotle Mexican Grill 18% 23.3%
Under Armour 23.7% 23.3%
Whole Foods Market 13.9% 18.5%

*Whole Foods Market fiscal year ends September


Bottom line
The consumer trend toward living a more active and healthy lifestyle is real and shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Chipotle, Whole Foods Market, and Under Armour have each done well to capitalize on the massive movement thus far and should be able to continue doing so with some of the best and accomplished management teams at their respective helms.

Chipotle's latest partnership with MLS shows just how clever and unique the company's marketing team really is. As the company targets more youth going forward, which should no doubt add to its long-term consumer base in the process, Chipotle and investors should benefit alongside consumers in general.

Bonus: The ultimate growth stocks are here!
While Chipotle, Under Armour and Whole Foods Market are superb growth stocks. Are they ultimate? They said it couldn't be done. But David Gardner has proved them wrong time, and time, and time again with stock returns like 926%, 2,239%, and 4,371%. In fact, just recently one of his favorite stocks became a 100-bagger. And he's ready to do it again. You can uncover his scientific approach to crushing the market and his carefully chosen six picks for ultimate growth instantly, because he's making this premium report free for you today. Click here now for access.


John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Philip Saglimbeni owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill and Under Armour. The Motley Fool recommends Chipotle Mexican Grill, Under Armour, and Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Under Armour, and Whole Foods Market. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information