10 years ago, Chipotle emerged as the darling of the fast casual segment. Other concepts in the segment were all striving to be the Chipotle of their category. But ever since Chipotle's food safety crisis back in 2015, the chain has been on a long road to recovery.
However, with the hire of former Taco Bell executive Brian Niccol and new menu additions, the restaurant's stock has gradually climbed in the last year. Analyst Andy Barish recently predicted that investing in the chain is a smart move in 2019.
The chain has announced its latest move to change the future of food, it will be partnering with the non-profit Uncharted to launch the Chipotle Aluminaries Project, a program that will help food start-ups grow.
"Since our founding, Chipotle has been committed to cultivating a better world, and we believe the best way to lead the future of food is to inspire others to come along with us on the journey and be a force for good in our industry," said Brian Niccol, Chipotle CEO in a statement.
Eight food companies have been selected based on innovation.
Some of the start-ups include-
American Ostrich Farms: an ostrich meat producer. This meat makes much less of an ecological impact.
Grubtubs Inc.: a company that makes animal feed made from food waste.
Sophie's Kitchen Plant-Based Seafood: a plant-based seafood producer.
AgVoice: a mobile voice-interaction service designed for food and agriculture professionals that helps them tracks animal and plant production.
The eight companies selected to participate will attend a 5-day boot camp where they will get insights and advice from industry leaders like some Chipotle executives and the entrepreneur Kimbal Musk.
The participants will also be meeting with their mentors one-on-one to get investor training and guidance on their business.
"At Chipotle, we feel we have a responsibility and opportunity to forge a path to a more sustainable food future," said Caitlin Leibert, Chipotle's Director of Sustainability.
Read more about the new program at "Forbes" now.
On a recent episode of The Barron Report, Host Paul Barron explains why he thinks the chain's recent introduction of its Lifestyle Bowls was a slamdunk. Watch the video below to learn more about Chipotle's latest move to not only appeal to health-conscious eaters but to reclaim its top spot in the fast casual market.