Chipotle Mexican Grill now claims it is the only national restaurant brand without added colors, flavors or preservatives on its entire menu.
The food chain has also ended its two-year quest to create a preservative free tortilla and the new versions use just five ingredients – flour, water, canola oil, salt and yeast for big flour tortillas they use to wrap burritos and its corn tortillas are made with just corn, masa, flour and water.
Chipotle says it uses just 51 ingredients throughout its entire menu now.
The Mexican burrito chain has been struggling to boost business since the foodborne-illness outbreak in 2015 that affected stores across the country. But the company has long been working on the process of eliminating additives and preservatives from the tortillas used to make burritos, tacos and chips.
“We have always used high quality ingredients and prepared them using classic cooking techniques,” Steve Ells, Chipotle's founder and CEO, said in a statement.
“We never resorted to using added colors or flavors like many other fast food companies do simply because these industrial additives often interfere with the taste of the food. However, commercially available tortillas, whether they are for us or someone else, use dough conditioners and preservatives.”
Chipotle now says it uses only local and organically grown produce as well as meats from animals raised without hormones or non-therapeutic antibiotics. None of the 51 ingredients in the restaurant's foods have been genetically modified but the company still sells soft drinks that contain GMO-containing ingredients.
The company has even released a visual ingredient statement – allowing customers to see exactly what's being used to create their Chipotle dishes.
In January, Chipotle announced the possibility of adding a dessert to the menu as a way to boost business in 2017. The company also announced plans to launch new advertising campaigns and roll out a better digital ordering platform.