Chipotle Mexican Grill will sponsor free screenings of the documentary "Food, Inc." in 32 U.S. cities starting today. The food chain is also promoting the film in all of its 860 restaurants.
At first blush, the sponsorship doesn't seem like an obvious match. "Food, Inc.," examines unsavory practices within America's food industry. It discusses the ills of modern food production practices and the influence of major agriculture companies in shaping government policy.
But the sponsorship gives Chipotle an opportunity to showcase its eco-friendly "food with integrity" philosophy to an interested audience. Chipotle says that 35% of the beans it uses are organically grown and that it serves more naturally raised meat than other restaurants. "The more customers know about where their food comes from, the more they will appreciate what we do," says Steve Ells, Chipotle founder. The chain will also include a branded feature about sustainable agriculture on the documentary's DVD when it is released this year.