Food & Wine magazine asked me if I thought there was an anti-Chipotle conspiracy.

Careful. Carrreful. Be verrrrrrrrry carrrrrreful...
Careful. Carrreful. Be verrrrrrrrry carrrrrreful…

There’s been soooooooo much bad news for Chipotle recently, with one foodborne health scare after another. Slate even declared “Nobody wants to eat Chipotle’s burritos anymore.” Today Chipotle will address investors after a “stock plunge” over the last few weeks, and hopefully stabilize the situation.

As can happen with any ongoing controversy, some have begun to suspect there’s dirty work afoot—that there are forces who don’t approve of Chipotle’s stated anti-GMO stance, and are punishing the restaurant chain through nefarious and clandestine means.

Food & Wine decided to cover that aspect of the story yesterday, and asked me for a quote. This was my reply:

“…‘Although the idea of a conspiracy is attractive and exciting, when you move behind the scenes in almost any capacity you see how difficult it is to do even simple things well,’ says Charlie Hopper, food marketing expert, principal at Young & Laramore and author of the book Selling Eating. ‘When you factor in all the silences and expertly executed sinister maneuvers required to pull off a conspiracy like this, it’s inconceivable; it’s hard enough to pull off a quarterly LTO (limited time offer) promotion. This is just extraordinarily bad luck mixed with perhaps a little mismanagement and a public relations nightmare,’ says Hopper.”