Chew on this: Chipotle aims to ‘cultivate thought’ on its packaging

Posted at 2:03 PM, May 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-16 14:03:33-04

(CNN) — The fast-food chain Chipotle is rolling out restaurant packaging featuring original essays by authors, actors and comedians, from Toni Morrison and Malcolm Gladwell to Sarah Silverman and Judd Apatow.

“Must a cup, or bag, suffer an existence that is limited to just one humble purpose, defined merely by its simple function?” Chipotle asks on the website of its “Cultivating Thought” author series.

The brainchild of best-selling author Jonathan Safran Foer, “Cultivating Thought” features essays themed as “two-minute readings” accompanied by unique illustrations on cups and bags.

“We live in a world of fewer bookstores, and fewer libraries, and more and more junk asking for our attention. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of a program that brings thoughtful texts, for free, to people with a few minutes to sit and think,” Foer says on Chipotle’s website.

The series is the latest effort from Chipotle to position itself as a fast-food company “that aims to change the way people think about and eat fast food,” this time, by “engaging customers with thought-provoking ideas and cultural issues.”

The essays topics vary from a two-minute recipe for the perfect fountain drink by comedian Bill Hader to a note to the future from George Saunders.

“What author can resist a captive audience? Reading a book is a big ask, but reading a cup is obviously a much smaller one. It’s a wonderful chance to share thoughts with people on a subject I care about,” said author Sheri Fink whose “two-minute case against limits” asks “do we really have the problem we think we have?”

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