Chipotle Mexican Grill says, it has now made all the food at its restaurants free of genetically engineered ingredients, a move that could put rivals on notice. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Chipotle is going GMO free, a first for a big restaurant chain. GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. That means no more ingredients that have been genetically altered, a big move that is getting a lot of attention. Its stock price moving higher, a sign investors like the move. Technomic's Mary Chapman is impressed: SOUNDBITE: MARY CHAPMAN, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT INNOVATION, TECHNOMIC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They announced a couple of years ago that they were hoping to pull this off within the next couple of years, and, you know, knowing the supply chain and how much corn, and soy, and other products are genetically modified, it's pretty amazing that they have been able to find the resources to supply their chain." Chapman says the vast majority, around 90 percent, of corn in this country is genetically modified. Chipotle has a history of sticking to its promise of better ingredients. It recently lost some sales of pork products after one of its suppliers did not meet their animal welfare standards. The irony is that while consumers seem very interested in avoiding GMOs, the scientific community hasn't come out against genetically altered crops and ingredients. SOUNDBITE: MARY CHAPMAN, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT INNOVATION, TECHNOMIC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They are still studying long term effects and such. but consumers are far more concerned about it than the scientific community is, and, so, it's interesting that the corporations are following the consumer demand rather than, you know, what the scientific community is saying, but, you know, the consumer is king, I guess." Whether rivals will follow Chipotle's lead remains unknown. Given the supply chain challenges, it would be a big undertaking.