The news, which will come as a shock to loyal customers, is based on increasing food prices in 2013, and the Denver-based company says that the costs of avocados, beef, dairy and chicken are set to escalate in 2014 as well.
“Alternatively, in the event of cost increases with respect to one or more of our raw ingredients, we may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients.”
Chipotle does admit that removing popular items like guacamole or other ingredients that go into its burritos will affect restaurant traffic, comparable sales and “could have an adverse impact on our brand.”
The company says that climate change has affected the availability and cost of some of its key ingredients.
“Increasing weather volatility or other long-term changes in global weather patterns, including any changes associated with global climate change, could have a significant impact on the price or availability of some of our ingredients.”
Chipotle uses 97,000 pounds of avocado daily, and it takes 70 avocados to make a batch of guacamole. The company prides itself on sourcing organic and locally-sourced ingredients and even released an original comedy series called Farmed and Dangerous that provides a satirical look at the lengths the agriculture industry goes to manage perceptions about its practices.