Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, the nation’s largest and fastest growing build-your-own pizza chain, announced that it has passed the “century” mark, with 103 restaurants now open and 87 additional sites currently in development. The fast-casual artisanal pizza brand, known for its chef-driven recipes and casually hip restaurants, also announced that it has successfully leveraged its growing size and category leadership to “raise the bar” in its ingredient sourcing, advancing its commitment to serve food that is free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and fillers.

With the recent removal of nitrites from its pepperoni, salame, ham, and bacon, Blaze Pizza’s “journey to clean” is nearly complete. In the first part of 2016, the company plans to upgrade a short list of remaining items—olives, garlic, salad dressings, and blood orange lemonade—in a move to ensure that all ingredients for its pizzas and salads are additive-free. The company will continue to serve fountain sodas and use marshmallows in its signature S’More Pies.

“We know our guests prefer fresh, less processed ingredients, and scratch cooking.  Here at Blaze, we agree that food without additives is an intelligent choice,” says executive chef Bradford Kent.  “As we’ve grown, we’ve been able to work directly with our suppliers to carefully source ingredients to our exacting specifications.  We’re thrilled to now be able to ‘change the game’ with our clean ingredient strategy.”

Blaze Pizza’s commitment to “Intelligent Choices for Pizzas, People & the Planet” is driven by its belief that guests deserve a better way to enjoy fast food. The company maintains a keep-it-simple philosophy that shuns rapid-fire new product introductions and limited time offers, and instead focuses on carefully sourcing high-quality ingredients, making its dough from scratch, and cooking its fast-fire’d pizzas to order, to the delight of its food-centric fan base.

“Fast-food companies—as they’ve grown in size—have historically shifted to more processed, lower-cost ingredients.  At Blaze, it’s the exact opposite. Each restaurant we open increases our leverage in sourcing less processed, higher-quality ingredients. It’s how we’ve been able to nix the nitrites and remove artificial additives,” says Jim Mizes, president and COO of Blaze Pizza. “It’s a strategy we’re fully committed to.  As I like to tell our guests: You keep eating our pizza. We’ll keep raising the bar.”   

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