Chipotle's recovery hopes melt with 'gritty' queso
Posted September 19, 2017 10:44 a.m. EDT
Chipotle's queso is shaping up to be another disappointment for the struggling fast food chain.
The cheesy addition to the menu was rolled out with a bang last week. Customers appear unimpressed.
Many have used Twitter to share their views of the melted cheese dip, with some calling Chipotle's queso "gritty" and a "crime against cheese" that "tastes like crayons."
"Our queso is made with only real ingredients, which makes it different. We like that difference, but it is different," Chipotle responded to one unhappy customer.
Some analysts aren't buying that.
Goldman Sachs said initial reactions to the new dip "suggest few customers will become repeat consumers."
"A very negative reaction to the queso launch suggests Chipotle launched a product that is not meeting consumer expectations, and, as a result, missed a potentially significant opportunity to add queso as an incremental add-on," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a research note Monday.
Chiptole stock slipped 3.6% on Monday and was among the biggest losers on the S&P 500 index. It fell again Tuesday, dropping by 1.5%.
Related: Chipotle is still struggling
Chipotle has been struggling to win back customers following E. coli and norovirus outbreaks, as well as a recent rodent sighting in one of its restaurants in Dallas.
And it had high hopes for queso. Back in July the company described the dip as the cornerstone of its effort to "change the narrative and encourage our guests" to keep coming back.
Goldman Sachs said the negative response mirrored the reaction from consumers in trials, and suggested Chipotle had "rushed" to market with the new product.