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Bye, Bye Orange Valencia Cake!

Posted Aug 07 2009 12:19pm

Well, that was short-lived.  Starbucks no sooner puts the gluten-free Orange Valencia Cake on the market, and then they pull it from the stores just a few months later.

What’s that about?  For me, more than the quality of the cake or the fact that it was a Starbuck’s product, I am focusing on the message their decision is sending to the celiac/gluten intolerant community.  Many of us took the time to provide input in writing so that they would come up with a decent gluten-free option for us. They listened to us, they put the effort into developing the product, and now they have decided to remove it.  Sorry, it wasn’t really in our best financial interest offer this item.  That is what I hear as the message.

My efforts to uncover the reason behind the decision do not indicate that they removed the product because a customer fell ill.  In fact, I read the response that one person received from Starbucks regarding the decision, and it was quite vague.  “Many factors go into the decision to remove something from our stores”, so they say.

It may seem that I am an ardent supporter of corporate giants because I take the time to post this information about Starbuck’s.  I really am not.  I prefer to support local businesses as much as I can.  However, I was supportive of Starbuck’s decision to carry a gluten-free item because I believe that we should have gluten-free options wherever we go, regardless if it is an international chain or a small mom and pop’s store.  I also think that a place like Starbucks can contribute to the awareness about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.   Might sound like a stretch for some, but I bet you that plastic wrapped cake has been a conversation item for many who stood in line and wondered, “What’s gluten?”.

With that said, if you would like to voice your opinion about Starbuck’s decision to remove the gluten-free option, you can do the following:

  1. Visit www.MyStarbucksIdea.com.  It’s a forum where you can share your ideas and opinions.
  2. You can also sign a petition that Triumph Dining has put together: Petition

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