Chipotle Mexican Grill has created a media firestorm by suing salad chain restaurant Sweetgreen for using the Mexican food chain’s name to promote one of their new items. Sweetgreen released a new item called Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl, causing Chipotle to file a complaint to a federal court in California.
Videos by Rare
Regarding the lawsuit, Sweetgreen made a statement, saying, “Our mission is to bring customers healthy, elevated and craveable menu items that make you feel good. We are looking forward to putting this lawsuit behind us as we continue to connect more people to real food.” Sweetgreen has since decided to rename its controversial product Chicken + Chipotle Pepper Bowl.
Chipotle’s Lawsuit Over Sweetgreen Item
Chipotle claims they filed the lawsuit because they believe Sweetgreen purposely named the new bowl, which was launched last week, in a way that would confuse customers. Chipotle insists that Sweetgreen uses similar ingredients as Chipotle for the bowl, and even used similar font in the bowl’s name. The word chipotle was also featured in the same Adobo Red color that Chipotle uses.
In a statement regarding the matter, Chipotle’s chief corporate affairs officer Laurie Schalow said, “We are pleased that [sweetgreen] has chosen to amend their materials in a manner that protects our trademarks and intellectual property, and therefore, We have both agreed to resolve the pending lawsuit. We will continue our vigilance in protecting our intellectual property in the marketplace.
Sweetgreen’s new burrito bowl consists of blackened chicken, roasted chipotle salsa, wild rice, and black beans. Even though the salad chain has since changed the bowl’s name, Sweetgreen initially ignored Chipotle’s cease-and-desist letter. According to the lawsuit, Chipotle proposed that Sweetgreen uses “‘chipotle’ in lower-case, in a textual sentence,” with the bowl reading as a “chicken bowl with chipotle.”
Sweetgreen and Chipotle are considered rival businesses. Sweetgreen was founded in 2006 while Chipotle was founded back in 1993, causing Chipotle to be more well-known nationwide.