In an annual report, Chipotle wrote that it may have to discontinue sales of guacamole—but immediate changes aren't happening yet.
The Mexican fast food chain announced in recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings it could temporarily suspend sales of guacamole and some salsas due to an increase in food costs.
Those increases are being caused by global warming, the Denver-based chain said.
"Increasing weather volatility or other long-term changes in global weather patterns, including any changes associated with global climate change, could have a significant impact on the price or availability of some of our ingredients," Chipotle officials said.
Avocados and other items used to make Chipotle's guacamole are the ingredients on the chopping block.
"In the event of cost increases with respect to one or more of our raw ingredients, we may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients," Chipotle officials wrote in the report.
The chain is aware that dropping guacamole from its menu is risky, but said it may not have a choice.
"Any such changes to our available menu may negatively impact our restaurant traffic and comparable restaurant sales, and could also have an adverse impact on our brand," the report states.
Chipotle often promotes its commitment to organic and sustainable farming practices for its ingredients. The company also claims that its ingredients are grown on farms within 350 miles of the restaurant they are served.
According to ThinkProgress.org, Chipotle uses an average of 97,000 pounds of avocados every day to make its guacamole—that's 35.4 million pounds of avocados every year.
The ThinkProgress report states scientists are anticipating drier conditions due to climate change, which may have negative effects on crops. Scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory predict hotter temperatures will cause a 40 percent drop in California‘s avocado production over the next 32 years.
In a Wednesday tweet, @ChipotleTweets told 10News that changes aren't planned despite what was filed in its annual report.
@10News Rest easy, the news out there are merely over-speculating on our normal quarterly risk assessments. No changes are planned. -Rusty— Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) March 5, 2014