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Chipotle adds smoked brisket in United States and Canada after tests

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By Hilary Russ 

  NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc said on Tuesday it is adding smoked brisket to its menu in the United States and Canada after testing it last year. 

  The new menu item, which costs $10.25 on average as an entree in Chipotle restaurants, comes as beef prices rise. 

  "We have established long-term relationships with certain key suppliers and therefore, been able to secure acceptable pricing for our initiatives," said Carlos Londono, the company's head of supply chain. 

  Beef and veal prices were up 48% in August versus January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

  Chipotle tested the smoked brisket in Sacramento, California, and in Cincinnati, Ohio, last year. Its $10.25 average price for its brisket is higher than other beef entrees in one Chipotle location in downtown Sacramento. 

  A burrito with steak or barbacoa for pickup would start at $9.20 in the Sacramento location, according to its website. In the test markets, an entree with brisket had cost $9.50, the company said. 

  The smoked brisket will be available to Chipotle U.S. rewards members on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

  It will be available to all customers in the United States and Canada on Sept. 23 and on third-party delivery apps starting Sept. 27. 

  (Reporting by Hilary Russ in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis) 

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