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LeBron James-backed Blaze Pizza to make White Claw crust

Cortney Moore

Blaze Pizza, the LeBron James-invested pizza chain, is dabbling in some bubbly pizza dough, the company announced Tuesday.

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For one day only, customers will be able to order their pizzas with mango-flavored White Claw Hard Seltzer crust. The limited-time menu item will be available at 40 select locations on Thursday.

The idea for a dough made with flavored hard cider came from the pizza chain’s executive chef Brad Kent.

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“Like our pizzas, White Claw is crafted with simple and clean ingredients, and the brand has an irreverent attitude. While sipping on a Mango White Claw, I thought, ‘Why not make dough with this instead of filtered water?’ Turns out it tastes great,” Kent said via email. “After combining a few of our fresh ingredients, the final recommended topping list offers a balance of spicy and tangy, with a bit of tropical sweetness to balance it out.”

The fast-growing pizza chain, which has around 300 locations, prides itself with a “fast-fire’d” tagline, cooks custom-made artisanal pizzas in a stone hearth oven. The company caught the attention of professional basketball player LeBron James and his business partners who reportedly invested less than $1 million in 2012 and grew to around $25 million by 2017, according to ESPN.

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Blaze Pizza’s co-founder Rick Wetzel told Yahoo Finance in September that his company is hoping to IPO within three years and compete with other pizza giants like Domino’s Pizza, Inc.

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As a company that is keeping a finger on the pulse of consumer demand in the fast-casual sphere, the addition of White Claw pizza crust fits with the growing hard seltzer market. In the week ending on June 6, hard seltzer sales accounted for 10.1 percent of alcohol sales, according to Nielsen data cited in a recent report from The Spirts Business.

The sales data was notably the third week in a row that hard seltzer made up more than 10 percent in the alcoholic beverage category, the market research firm pointed out, which also was a 225 percent spike from the same period last year.

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