Just weeks after introducing it, Starbucks has pulled the plug on its gluten-free Valencia Orange Cake. Gluten-free consumers lauded the pastry, citing its great taste and sticky texture as reasons to include Starbucks in their morning coffee routine. And now, said the company through its Twitter page, the cake is no more. We, along with most of you, were left scratching our heads.
The pastry was first unveiled in early May of this year. A Starbucks media representative told me at the time that the cake was the result of the massive amount of requests the company received through its customer service website, MyStarbucksIdea.com. On the site, “gluten-free pastry” was the number one “idea” customers wished Starbucks to act upon. And so, Starbucks did the design work, and released its gluten-free Valencia Orange Cake last May, along with much press and publicity.
A past review on our blog praised its sticky, sweet texture and highlighted it as one of the few pastries we’ve tried that didn’t flake apart with every bite in typical, gluten-free fashion. But what really knocked our socks off about this cake was its availability. Though some of you reported that it didn’t quite make it to your local Starbucks, many on our blog said the cake turned them into regular Starbucks customers, enabling them to frequent one of the coffee shop’s 11,000 nationwide locations for breakfast or perhaps an afternoon snack.
To see this cake disappear only a few short weeks after its launch is baffling and perplexing. Several Starbucks locations in our area told us that the cake sold out daily; many of you have reported this as well, though others said shortages were apparent. Tiffany Janes, Atlanta Gluten-Free Food Examiner, cited quality control problems in the Atlanta area as a major factor for its disappearance; no such problems could be found in our local Washington, D.C. locations as well as in most other parts of the country.
This delicious pastry made the lives of many people with celiac disease easier, and, quite frankly, we are among the thousands of consumers nationwide who disagree and are dissatisfied with Starbucks’s decision to remove the pastry. Any problems with quality or availability should have been ironed out. Gluten-free consumers expect and demand more, especially from a company like Starbucks, which so often touts its community involvement.
To that end, we started this petition to bring it back.
In only one week, 3,500 people have signed it, and we encourage you to do the same. Once we reach 5,000 signatures, we will forward it to Starbucks, to urge them to bring back their gluten-free pastry. Please, forward this petition to your friends and family as well, even those who don’t have celiac disease.
This pastry was a great help to the gluten-free community, and its presence in thousands of stores nationwide will be sorely missed.
Click here to sign the petition.