Chipotle Introduces 2 Vegan Bowls to Help You Eat Healthier This Year

|Updated Jan 5, 2023

About 50 percent of Americans making New Year's resolutions want to eat healthier in 2023, and 39 percent hope to save money as inflation rates continue to rise. And Chipotle Mexican Grill's highly customizable and plant-based menu items provide hungry Americans with the right food to maintain their resolutions, especially now. Chipotle just introduced two new plant-based menu items to its Lifestyle Bowls selection –– the chain's signature premade menu designed for customers following Whole30, paleo, keto, and vegan diets.

Chipotle launched the Veggie Full Bowl and Plant-Powered Bowl on January 3 as digital exclusives in the United States and Canada. The Veggie Full Bowl features a bed of white rice topped with fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, roasted chili-corn salsa, guacamole, and black beans. The Plant-Powered Bowl features a bed of super greens and white rice topped with Sofritas (the chain's tofu protein), fresh tomato salsa, roasted chili-corn salsa, guacamole, and fajita veggies.

To accompany the menu items, Chipotle announced an augmented reality experience slated to launch on January 13. The program will be hosted on "Quitter's Day," which is known as the day that most people stop following their New Year's resolutions. The Snapchat event will encourage fans to meditate and exercise in an effort to maintain healthy resolutions. Chipotle also noted that the first 100,000 US consumers to participate in the augmented reality event will win a free small side or a free guacamole appetizer.

Chipotle's Tenure as a Plant-Based Leader

For hungry vegans everywhere, Chipotle has established itself as a safe haven for customers looking to eat healthier at affordable prices. The chain always served plant-based beans and rice bases for burritos and bowls but added Sofritas to the menu in 2014. The tofu-based protein is flavored with chipotle chiles, cumin, and poblano pepper. In 2018, Chipotle sold 7.5 million pounds of the popular protein choice.

Last January, Chipotle added another vegan protein to its menu, showcasing its pea protein-based Chorizo. The chain decided to add this item to menus nationwide following positive trials in Colorado, Indiana, and California. The vegan chorizo is flavored with chipotle peppers, ancho chilies, tomato paste, Spanish smoked paprika, crushed garlic, and extra virgin olive oil.

“Creating a delicious plant-based protein that sizzles on the grill with the robust flavor and texture profile chorizo-lovers expect was a real challenge,” Nevielle Panthaky, Vice President of Culinary at Chipotle, said in a statement at the time. “Our culinary team has worked relentlessly for years to develop this breakthrough Plant-Based Chorizo recipe that is uniquely Chipotle and aligns with the brand’s industry-leading Food with Integrity standards.”

Eating to Lower Heart Disease Risk

Keeping a healthier diet into the New Year can help curb the risk of several chronic or deadly diseases, including heart disease. Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the CDC, killing over 650,000 Americans every year. And eating meat is the problem. Research shows that regularly eating red meat can increase heart disease risks by 18 percent.

With better access to plant-based foods, more Americans can choose to avoid red meat to protect their heart for longer. One study shows that a plant-centered diet adopted earlier in life can reduce the risk of heart disease nearly 30 years later. 

Read More: The Best Fast Casual Chains for Plant-Based Customers

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