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Chipotle's Secret Ingredient: Sofritas

By Rick Munarriz – Apr 18, 2013 at 6:11AM

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Chipotle expands its test of a tofu-based protein.

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.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Chipotle Mexican Grill. The Motley Fool owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill. 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.

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