Apparently, food poisoning scares aren’t “cool” anymore. A recent survey of 6,500 teens by investment firm Piper Jaffray showed that Chipotle, though still one of the top food brands among the coveted young demo, had seen decreased popularity and preference recently. And people say teens don’t care about their health.
“While Chipotle remained the second most preferred brand among upper income teens and ties for top five among average income teens … it did cede share sequentially across both gender and geography categories," the report said according to Business Insider.
Clearly it’s not good news for the burrito chain which has seen significant declines in sales after last year’s food poisoning woes. But at the same time, how disappointed can Chipotle really be?
Chipotle caused dozens of people to get sick after multiple E. coli outbreaks, incidents that were promptly followed up by a major norovirus outbreak in Boston that sickened over 100 people, and, yet, the Mexican food chain is still the second most preferred brand among upper income teens. Second! Only Starbucks is ahead of them. Not some other burrito joint that hasn’t had food poisoning outbreaks: a coffee chain! To paraphrase Donald Trump, it’s as if Chipotle could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and they still would be the second most popular food brand among rich teens.
Personally, that sounds like a win to me. Meanwhile, Taco Bell has got to be thinking, “Really? People would rather go to the food poisoning place than buy a Quesalupa? We gotta go back to the drawing board.”