Chipotle climbs after announcing plans to serve carne asada, its first new protein option in 3 years

ChipotleHollis Johnson

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill stock surged as much as 4% on Tuesday after the restaurant chain announced a new, limited-time carne asada option.
  • The lime-seasoned steak is the first new protein item for Chipotle in three years, and will hit menus across the US on September 19.
  • The carne asada recipe was first tested in Fresno, California and Cincinnati, Ohio, where it "performed incredibly well," Chipotle's chief marketing officer Chris Brandt said.
  • Watch Chipotle trade live here.

Chipotle Mexican Grill stock jumped as much as 4% on Tuesday after the company announced the September 19 launch of a new carne asada option.

The steak variant is the restaurant's first new protein since the introduction of chorizo in 2016. The new item will hit menus throughout the US but only for a limited time, Chipotle said.

The strips are seasoned with lime, cilantro, and "a blend of signature spices," and are compliant with the Paleo diet, according to Chipotle's press release. The option "performed incredibly well," in the restaurant's Cincinnati, Ohio and Fresno, California test markets, company chief marketing officer Chris Brandt said.

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The restaurant chain has been testing a new queso blanco product since early August through the same test program. The new cheese sauce is currently available in Dallas, Detroit, and San Diego, and is slated for wider release in 2020, CNBC reported.

The company's shares traded at $828.31 as of 10:45 a.m. ET Tuesday, up about 92% year-to-date.

Chipotle has 13 "buy" ratings, 15 "hold" ratings, and six "sell" ratings from analysts, with a consensus price target of $776.17, according to Bloomberg data.

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