Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG -0.51%) can use a kick, and a tofu-based protein may be the key.
The burrito roller is expanding its test of Sofritas -- tofu spiced up with chipotle chilies, roasted poblano peppers, and other spices -- as a fifth protein item on its menu. Chipotle made Sofritas available alongside carnitas, chicken, steak, and barbacoa at seven San Francisco locations earlier this year. The test is now expanding throughout Northern California.
If successful, a nationwide rollout can't be too far away.
In this video, Rick explains why Sofritas comes at a great time. Beyond the obvious appeal for vegetarians, vegans, and customers wanting something different, comps at Chipotle have been uninspiring lately. The chain has also come up short on the bottom line in back-to-back quarters. It can use a kick, and tofu may be the answer at a company that prides itself on its very limited menu.