A chain of fast-casual restaurants and Mexican food stores will begin selling their own chip and salsa maker to compete with Chipotle, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The move could be a big deal for consumers.
Chipotle is the world’s largest chip maker, and the chips that go into its burritos and burrito bowls are widely known for their crunchy texture and taste.
But the chip maker has long resisted offering its own chip or salsa maker, partly because it has a long history of partnering with other companies to make chips.
That changed Tuesday, with Chipotles parent company, Unilever, announcing a new chip maker to be called Smart Chip.
The company, which will work with companies including Nestle, Procter & Gamble and Kraft, will make chips from its own ingredients, and then ship them directly to customers.
“There’s no other way to make a chip that people can taste,” Chipotle Chief Executive Officer Rob Thomas said in a conference call Tuesday.
“And it’s not just about flavor.
There’s a whole ecosystem of things that go along with that flavor.”
But the new company is not the first chip maker that has entered the chip business, the WSJ said.
There are several companies making chips for restaurants, including Chipotle’s parent, Mondelez International.
The WSJ report said that Mondelezz also makes chips for some fast-food restaurants.