Chipotle Releases Final Round of ‘Cultivating Thought’ Author Series Featuring Student Essay Contest Winners

10 students from across the country will have essays featured on
Chipotle’s cups and bags

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) has announced the fourth and final
installment of its “Cultivating Thought” author series, which will begin
arriving in restaurants around the country today. The final round of
packaging will feature 10 essays written by the winners of Chipotle’s
2015 “Cultivating Thought” student essay contest.

The “Cultivating Thought” author series began in May 2014 in partnership
with New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Safran Foer (“Extremely
Loud and Incredibly Close,” “Eating Animals,” “Everything Is
Illuminated”), as a way to feature original essays written by
influential thinkers, authors, actors and comedians on its restaurant
packaging. The program has featured 30 famed contributors, including
Judd Apatow, Michael Lewis, Paulo Coelho, Amy Tan, Lois Lowry, Stephen
Dubner, Laura Hillenbrand, Sue Monk Kidd, and many others who have
created stories for Chipotle’s packaging that are meant to entertain and
challenge customers.

“Packaging in fast food restaurants is typically sold to advertisers, or
used to promote new limited-time menu items, but we have never used our
packaging that way,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief creative and
development officer at Chipotle. “Instead, we have used it to entertain
our customers using wit, humor and design. Our ‘Cultivating Thought’
author series has allowed customers to connect with a great selection of
entertaining and thought-provoking authors they may not otherwise have

The 10 students featured on Chipotle’s final round of “Cultivating
Thought” packaging were the grand prizewinners of Chipotle’s
“Cultivating Thought” essay contest. The contest, which was judged by
Foer, invited middle and high school students to submit a
1,700-character essay about a time when food created a lasting memory.
Among the thousands of essays submitted, the 10 grand prizewinners were
chosen based on their originality, creativity, quality of composition
and use of theme. In addition to having their essays featured on
Chipotle’s packaging, the 10 winners received $20,000 each to support
their continuing education.

The winners are:

  • Abigail Alford, 17, Spring Hill, Tennessee
  • Alec Smith, 18, Tucson, Arizona
  • Anam Adil, 14, Westmont, Illinois
  • August Hagemann, 17, Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • David Rhoads, 18, Magnolia, Texas
  • Fue Xiong, 17, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Marianne Hughes, 17, Elizabeth, Colorado
  • Marilyn Juarez, 17, Los Angeles
  • Sophia Torres, 16, Marco Island, Florida
  • Tori Brown, 15, Fairfax, California

The “Cultivating Thought” packaging is available in many Chipotle
restaurants starting today and will be arriving in all restaurants in
the coming weeks. For more information about “Cultivating Thought,”
please visit


Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea
that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience.
Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos,
burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from
fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking
methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of
Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using
ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are
sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals,
the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this
vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered
on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards.
This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our
customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within.
Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than
2,000 restaurants, including Chipotle restaurants outside the US
and ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in
an entity that owns and operates Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For more
information, visit


Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chris Arnold, 303-222-5912