Chipotle guacamole became headlines in recent days because the restaurant firm recently stated that climate change could affect the availability of guacamole and salsa at their restaurants. At this point, they may wish they hadn’t released such information – even though public companies periodically inform their investors of risk factors of the foreseeable future, according to an ABC News report on Wednesday. However, Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold said not to worry, “The sky is not falling.”
Traditionally, public companies ward off potential lawsuits by releasing information about their worst-case scenarios, and a risk of no guacamole and salsa was reportedly one of those cases in which Chipotle made the warning in its weather-related segment of its most recent 10-K quarterly filing – filed in February – to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to that filing, 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. It went on to say that any increase in the prices of the ingredients most critical to our menu, such as chicken, beef, cheese, avocados, beans, rice, tomatoes and pork, would adversely affect our operating results. And here’s the troublesome kicker – as the filed-report stated: “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.”
The shortage of avocadoes – guacamole – became a topic of conversation in January because of the colder temperatures that threatened the crops. Arnold says that responding to that threat in the filed-report is required – but basically says it’s not going to happen.
The companies filling also mentioned heightened food costs or supply constraints of beef due to the drought in parts of the United States in the past year or more.
Perhaps Chipotle could get off the Al Gore-kick, too, and not go the global warming route? .