After an initial test launch of its new vegan menu item called “Sofritas” in seven San Francisco Bay Area restaurants in February, Chipotle expanded the new tofu-based offering to its restaurants across the West Coast. On Monday, the company went bicoastal with the premiere of Sofritas at all of its Baltimore, Richmond, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. locations.
The Sofritas filling is made with shredded tofu braised with chipotle chilies, roasted poblano peppers and a blend of aromatic spices, and can be added to burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads. Chipotle is sourcing the tofu for its Sofritas from California-based Hodo Soy, which produces organic, non-GMO tofu.
"Sofritas is a very different kind of menu item, not just for Chipotle but for any fast food or fast casual restaurant,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO. “In creating the recipe for Sofritas, we wanted to produce something that would appeal to vegetarian and vegan customers, but that was delicious enough to have crossover appeal as well."
With its East Coast presence, Sofritas are now on the menu at about 600 Chipotles, more than a third of the company’s outlets.
A spokesperson for Chipotle reports that Sofritas accounts for 4 to 5 percent of sales in the stores that offer it, which may be contributing to the the chain’s growing bottom line.
Last week, Chipotle announced that its 2013 third quarter earnings topped $826 million and was up 18 percent as compared to the third quarter of 2012.
[Photos: Sofritas buritto. Credit: Chipotle]