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November 28, 2016

Chipotle Sued Over Misleading Calorie Count

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:06 am

The embattled Mexican grill chain, Chipotle, is in trouble again.

In the course of promoting its new chorizo burrito which is made from chicken and pork sausage, the company touted on menu boards that it only had 300 calories.

Chipotle chorizo

Three diet-conscious California consumers took the bait and ordered this low-cal treat, but felt surprisingly full after eating one. They soon discovered they had been hoodwinked because this Mexican dish was nowhere near only 300 calories.

Mouse Print* reviewed the nutrition tables on Chipotle’s website and calculated the actual calorie count of a chorizo burrito.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Chipotle calories

As you can see, the chorizo burrito as described on the menu board has 1055 calories — more than three times the claimed amount. Just the tortilla wrapper alone is 300 calories, as is the chorizo alone.

This is likely to be an expensive mistake for Chipotle as the company is now being sued in a class action in California.

Informally, the company replied to some complaining customers on Twitter saying that the “300 calories is for the chorizo.”

Company spokesperson Chris Arnold, however, provided Fortune with this statement:

As a matter of policy, we dont discuss details surrounding pending legal action. I will note, however, that a lawsuit is nothing more than allegations and is proof of nothing. Generally speaking, we always work hard to maintain transparency around what is in our food, including the nutritional content, which is provided on an ingredient-by-ingredient basis.

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8 Comments

  1. Depending on where the chorizo burrito was advertised, it may have been an honest mistake that the 300 calories appeared on the advertisement instead of the full calorie count.

    I can see someone noticing the name ‘chorizo burrito’ and then just looking up the calories for ‘chorizo’.

    If it was a mistake, it is still odd that nobody on the Chipotle staff prevented it from being published.

    Comment by Wayne R — November 28, 2016 @ 7:26 am
  2. There is no way this was just a simple “mistake”. It is funny how everytime it is a “mistake” it is always to the benefit of the corporation.

    Comment by lisa — November 28, 2016 @ 1:08 pm
  3. It may have been a simple mistake, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that Chipotle provided blatantly false information to customers.

    Comment by cmadler — November 28, 2016 @ 3:11 pm
  4. 300 calories for ONE flour tortilla? I have some ‘burrito sized’ (size of a dinner plate) flour tortillas in the freezer and they are only 140 calories each. How huge (or thick) is that tortilla? It also has 420 grams more sodium, 6.5 grams more fat than the ones I usually buy.

    I have never eaten at Chipotle and do not plan to in the future.

    Comment by Gert — November 28, 2016 @ 3:42 pm
  5. If that is the actual ad, then Chipotle should be in trouble. It touts the whole burrito, but then claims people should know the 300 calories was only for the chorizo? That would be like offering a strawberry milkshake for 50 calories, only counting the strawberries. Misleading is putting it mildly.

    Edgar replies: So everyone knows, this is part of the huge menu board hanging over the serving counter.

    Comment by Tbunni Ziebart — November 29, 2016 @ 1:17 pm
  6. 7.65 for one burrito? This place will cost you as much as a sitdown restaurant

    Comment by Peter — November 30, 2016 @ 10:48 am
  7. Chipotle burritos are quite large (the graphic shows 1.25 pounds), and could easily make two meals if you were so inclined. The tortillas are bigger than “dinner plate” sized, so I can see the calorie count going up too. Perhaps they are thicker to hold together as well. You could easily make a veggie burrito exceed 300 calories, so I have no idea how this count would have gotten on the signs by accident.

    Comment by Derlin — November 30, 2016 @ 4:32 pm
  8. They should have had all their customers sign binding arbitration contracts before ordering.

    Comment by Marc K — December 17, 2016 @ 7:57 am

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