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Chipotle partners with celebrity authors on thoughtful new packaging

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Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) today launched the “Cultivating Thought” author series, a new program that features original essays written by influential thought leaders, authors, actors and comedians on its restaurant packaging. Created in partnership with NewYork Times best-selling author Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Eating Animals, Everything is Illuminated), who curated the series, these stories are meant to entertain customers while exposing them to some of the most creative and influential people of our time.

Chipotle has traditionally produced content that aims to change the way people think about and eat fast food. This author series serves as an extension of the company’s mission to tell their unique story by engaging customers with thought-provoking ideas and cultural issues. The essays are accompanied by unique illustrations commissioned from a wide range of talented artists.

“Packaging in fast food restaurants is typically sold to advertisers, or used to promote new limited time menu items, but we have never used our packaging that way,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle. “Instead, we have used it to entertain our customers using wit, humor and design. Following in that tradition, our new packaging allows customers to connect with a great selection of entertaining and thought-provoking authors they may not otherwise have encountered.”

In addition to Foer, contributors for the “Cultivating Thought” author series include:

  • Judd Apatow – Golden Globe nominated writer/director/producer, This is 40, Bridesmaids, Girls
  • Sheri Fink – Pulitzer-prize winning reporter/author, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
  • Malcolm Gladwell – New York Times bestselling author, journalist and speaker, The Tipping Point, Outliers, Blink
  • Bill Hader – Emmy-winning comedian/actor/producer, Saturday Night Live, South Park
  • Michael Lewis – New York Times bestselling author and journalist, Flash Boys, The Blind Side, Moneyball
  • Toni Morrison – Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author, Beloved
  • Steve Pinker – award-winning experimental psychologist, renowned writer on language, mind and human nature
  • George Saunders – New York Times bestselling short-story and essay author, “Tenth of December,” “The Braindead Megaphone”
  • Sarah Silverman – Emmy-winning actress/comedian, The Sarah Silverman Program, Saturday Night Live, School of Rock

Each writer’s work will be featured on a cup or bag in Chipotle’s restaurants. The essays, all themed as “two-minute” readings, vary in topic and focus, representing the range of talent as well as the range of perspectives of these 10 writers. “We live in a world in which there is shrinking space for literature and writing, and less time than ever for quiet reflection,” said Foer. “The idea of expanding the space and time, of creating a small pocket of thoughtfulness right in the middle of the busy day, was inspiring to me – particularly given the size and diversity of the audience, which is America itself.”

The “Cultivating Thought” packaging will be arriving in all restaurants in the coming weeks. For more information about “Cultivating Thought,” please visit chipotle.com/cultivatingthought.

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