- Chipotle Mexican Grill is observing Pride month by donating proceeds from product sales on Instagram to a related charity. The burrito chain's Instagram post and website are selling limited-edition Pride merchandise showing its new "Love What Makes You Real" slogan, according to a company announcement.
- Chipotle will donate $10.50 for every T-shirt and tank top and $7 for every hat to The Trevor Project, the suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth. The company also will participate in Pride parades nationwide and host fundraisers for nonprofits supporting the often marginalized community.
- The chain plans to give an as-yet-unnamed YouTuber and LGBTQ+ activist with its first rainbow celebrity card as a surprise, per the announcement. Chipotle sends the themed cards to well-known people who express an affinity for its food, giving them free burritos for life.
Chipotle is the latest brand to take advantage of Instagram's push into e-commerce. The image-sharing app has expanded its shopping features as parent company Facebook seeks to monetize the platform while global usage reaches a saturation point and user growth slows. Instagram last month created a special @shop account to bring together posts from online merchants that sell products through the app. Instagram in March rolled out a native checkout feature with 23 U.S. brands that let shoppers pay for products without leaving the app, and extended the tool to 55 creators and five publishers for testing in April. The app in November added a collection tab to let users save products tagged in Stories and posts, shoppable videos and a shop tab on business pages.
The fundraising element to Chipotle's campaign for Pride month demonstrates how marketers can harness Instagram's newer shopping features for a good cause, while expanding outside the retail and apparel categories that dominate the image-sharing app's merchandising. By donating proceeds from the sales of its Pride gear to charity, the chain can generate goodwill among consumers who support socially conscious brands.
While Chipotle may risk alienating some consumers with its latest campaign, Gen Zers and millennials are especially conscious of gender issues and show more support for gay rights than older generations do, and they tend to favor brands that stand for causes they value. Chipotle's new "Love What Makes You Real" slogan emphasizes its focus on making fresh food from "real" ingredients while connecting with Pride themes of acceptance and personal authenticity.
Chipotle has been active with social media campaigns and a massive expansion of its loyalty program in the past year as the chain works to move past recent food-contamination scandals. The company boosted downloads of its mobile app nearly fivefold with the nationwide rollout of a loyalty program that included a promotional tie-in with social payments company Venmo. Last month, Chipotle announced plans to give away as much as $1 million in free burritos as part of a mobile promotion aimed at basketball fans amid the NBA playoffs. To celebrate National Burrito Day on April 4, the chain offered free delivery on all orders of $10 or more through the Chipotle app and website or through food-delivery service DoorDash.
While Chipotle isn't expected to report Q2 results until next month, its Q1 report showed that digital sales doubled from a year earlier to $206 million, making up 16% of total sales. Deloitte Digital, which consulted Chipotle on the development of its mobile app two years ago, said diners spend 13% more at fast-casual chains like Chipotle while ordering online.