Chipotle and Sweetgreen End Legal Battle Over Burrito Bowls

The lawsuit claimed Sweetgreen's Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl violates Chipotle's trademark.

Chipotle restaurant and Sweetgreen restaurant

Jeenah Moon / Bloomberg via Getty Images; Robert K. Chin - Storefronts / Alamy Stock Photo

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And if you still don't succeed, sue. That’s the line Chipotle Mexican Grill took after Sweetgreen initially appeared to ignore requests to modify the marketing behind their new burrito bowl featuring chipotle-flavored chicken.

On March 30th, Sweetgreen announced the launch of a “Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl”, describing it as a “protein-packed all-grains bowl” available for a limited time only. This move is in line with the salad giant’s intention to introduce heartier offerings on their menu.

In the subsequent lawsuit filed, Chipotle outlines its efforts to reach out to Sweetgreen, including a cease and desist letter and a phone call. The burrito chain suggested that Sweetgreen lowercase the word “Chipotle”, making it a clearer ingredient descriptor to avoid brand confusion. The burrito chain also took issue with the comparable ingredient list of Sweetgreen’s new bowl along with the stylized font and promotional background colors for being “near identical” to Chipotle’s trademarked logo and Adobo Red color.

Sweetgreen’s social media marketing took several cheeky swipes at their well-known competitor. One of the posts touts that the double scoop of grains is “not extra”, poking fun at the infamous “Guac’s extra” policy at Chipotle. The salad chain also published an Instagram post with the caption “Chipotle who?!” and doubled down in the comments section when Instagram users started tagging Chipotle.

However, since the litigation, the brand’s Instagram feed appeared to reflect changes. Posts dedicated to the new menu item had their captions edited, describing it as “the chipotle-chicken burrito bowl.”

Finally, according to Nation's Restaurant News, today Sweetgreen released a statement saying it had reached an agreement to change the name of its product to the "Chicken + Chipotle Pepper Bowl."

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