Will other companies follow Chipotle’s anti-GMO lead?

Chipotle’s anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) mission coincided with a 30% jump in fourth quarter profits, and adaptable restaurant chains may soon try to cash in on the positive public response to going GMO-free.

What separates the anti-GMO move by Chipotle from a similar move by any other restaurant chain is authenticity. Chipotle understands and has always marketed toward the more ‘food-conscious’ consumers that want to know the origins of the food they ingest. The Chipotle menu has always had a small list of ingredients when compared with traditional fast-food restaurants, and the company has always emphasized the local sourcing of these ingredients and seeks organic ingredients whenever feasible.McDonald’s could make a pledge to use only hormone-free beef in all Big Macs, but such a move is not consistent with the rest of the already-established brand and would do little to attract consumers seeking sustainable foods.

Chipotle has seen impressive growth in same-store sales since vowing to go GMO-free almost a year ago, though the growth cannot be entirely attributed to consumers seeking to remove GMOs from their diet. With a constantly growing number of new store openings (nearly 200 are planned for 2014) and quickly increasing advertising expenses, tracing the portion of increased profits attributable to GMO-labeling and reduction of GMOs in their foods is difficult to say the least. Perhaps a better indicator of how the public is willing to buy into the GMO-free market is tracking how a well-established, slower-growing brand like Cheerios is able to profit from announced plans to go GMO-free.

Read the full original article: Who Will Follow Chipotle’s Anti-GMO Lead?

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