Chipotle’s Cultivating Thought by Printings Essays and Art on Cups and Bags.

Chipotle cultivating thought hero IIHIH

Chipotle is serving up some food for thought. Next time you eat at the restaurant chain, you’ll be exposed to Chipotle’s Cultivating Thought, a project that prints essays and illustrations written by well-known authors and comedians upon the paper cups and paper bags, giving you something to digest other than Mexican food.

Chipotle’s Cultivating Thought

Chipotle has added entertaining essays written by Toni Morrison, Malcolm Gladwell, Sarah Silverman, Jonathan Safran Foer, Michael Lewis, Bill Hader, Judd Apatow, George Saunders, Steven Pinker and Shari Fink. The essays are accompanied with illustrations by artists Johanna Basford, Noah MacMillan, Brosmind, Julian Callos, Antony Hare, Dakyung Lee, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Kristyna Baczynski, Mattais Adolfsson and Pat Perry on their bags and cups.

Chipotle's Cultivating Thought

A ways back, writer Jonathan Safran Foer (about who beautiful New American Haggadah I have blogged) found himself eating at a Chipotle without anything to read. This inspired a thought. What if there were something truly good to read on his Chipotle cup? Or the bag?

Having met Chipotle’s C.E.O, Steve Ells, a few years earlier, Foer sent off an e-mail in which he wrote the following:

“‘I bet a shitload of people go into your restaurants every day, and I bet some of them have very similar experiences, and even if they didn’t have that negative experience, they could have a positive experience if they had access to some kind of interesting text,’” Foer recalled. “And unlike McDonald’s, it’s not like they’re selling their surfaces to the highest bidder. They had nothing on their bags. So I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to just put some interesting stuff on it? Get really high-quality writers of different kinds, creating texts of different kinds that you just give to your customers as a service.’”

Ells not only embraced the idea, but he put Jonathan in charge of curating and soliciting the hippest contemporary authors and illustrators to embellish Chipotle cups and bags with short stories/essays and art. And voilà! Chipotle’s Cultivating Thought was born.

chipotle cultivating thought authors ganged IIHIH

Here’s a close look at all the cups and bags. (The stories can be read larger in full here)

Toni Morrison Two-Minute Seduction, illustrations by Johanna Basford:
Chipotle Toni Morrison Johanna Basford IIHIH

Malcolm Gladwell Two-Minute Barn-Raising, illustrations by Noah MacMillan:
Chipotle malcom Gladwell Noah MacMillan IIHIH

Sarah Silverman Two-Minute Index, illustrations by Brosmind:
Chipotle Sarah Silverman Brosmind IIHIH

Jonathan Safran Foer Two-Minute Personality Test, illustrations by Julian Callos:
Chipotle jonathan safrar foer julian callos IIHIH

Michael Lewis The Two-Minute Minute, illustrations by Antony Hare:
Chipotle Michael lewis Antony Hare IIHIH

Bill Hader Two-Minute Recipe for the Perfect Fountain Drink, illustrations by Dakyung Lee:
Chipotle Bill Hader Dakyung Lee IIHIH

Judd Apatow Two Minutes of Rambling Wisdom, illustrations by Kate Bingaman-Burt:
Chipotle Judd Apatow Kate Bingaman-Burt IIHIH

George Saunders Two-Minute Note to the Future, illustrations by Kristyna Baczynski:
Chipotle George Saunders Kristyna Baczynski IIHIH

Steven Pinker A Two-Minute Case for Optimism, illustrations by Mattais Adolfsson:
Chipotle Steven Pinker Mattias Adolfsson IIHIH

Sheri Fink Two-Minute Case Against Limits, illustrations by Pat Perry:
Chipotle Sheri Fink Pat Perry IIHIH