Costco Is No Longer Selling Beloved Sheet Cakes & Parents Are Divided

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So many things have changed since the pandemic first began -- but few of us could have predicted the latest news that's rocked America: Costco will no longer be selling its beloved half-sheet cakes. In fact, according to the New York Times, the wholesale corporation has slowly removed the baked good from its store shelves over the last month. As you might expect, people are not happy about it.

  • Uproar over the change started late last month, when Costco shared a post on Facebook that casually mentioned the treat's demise.

    "Big achievements deserve a celebration!" the Facebook caption read. "Share the love with your grad by picking up a round 10-inch cake at the bakery. Please note: Half-sheet cakes are currently not available to order or customize."

    The sheet cakes, which have become a go-to for Costco shoppers celebrating graduations, parties, and other family events, are one of the store's most popular items. Needless to say, people were not going to let this one go lightly.

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  • It didn't take long before the comments started flowing in.

    "I love the sheet cakes!" one person wrote. "I buy very few bakery items, but I get these cakes for big occasions and they taste great. They should NOT be discontinued."

    "Please bring back the sheet cakes, even if just for preorder," another person added. "The round are not large enough for larger families. We've had 3 birthday we would have bought them for, another coming up soon as well as graduation. Our grocery store cakes are good, but not Costco good."

    "It is ridiculous that they are not making the sheet cakes, as an order," yet another person wrote. "I was told today they may never bring them [back]! What is their reasoning for this, they are making other bakery items."

  • In response to several of the comments, the wholesaler attempted to explain the reasoning behind the decision.

    And, just like so many things right now, the reason is sadly familiar: It's all thanks to the global health crisis that has changed life as we know it.

    "To help limit personal contact and create more space for social distancing, Costco has reduced service in some departments," the company wrote in response to one customer. "At this time, we are not making sheet cakes for special order."

  • Instead, Costco is offering 10-inch cakes, which according to a statement provided to the New York Times, seem to be "resonating" with shoppers.

    According to customer comments, however, it sounds like people are pretty meh on the new cakes -- and are still missing the real thing.

    "We liked the new chocolate cake but it's not as good as old one," one person commented on Costco's Facbook post. "I don't like the chocolate mousse filling in the new one so I just scraped [it] out."

    "I agree with some above posts ... bring back the All American cake, please!!" someone else added. "We used to buy this for all of our special occasions, and the new substitute is just not as good."

    "The sheet cake was the main reason I even got a membership!" another person chimed in.

    Believe it or not, another person said she loves the cake so much, she even served it at her wedding.

  • In a statement to CNN Business, Costco confirmed that the item has been discontinued and that there are "no immediate plans" to bring it back.

    Although Costco hasn't said that the decision was made to discourage large gatherings, that certainly seems to be the vibe many customers are getting. After all, the sheet cake can feed up to 50 people for just $20, whereas the 10-inch round cake feeds about a dozen. The decision also seems to have been made around the same time many states and health agencies urged Americans to limit large gatherings.

    "The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading," the CDC noted on its website. "The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering."

    But if you're wondering how many is too many, the answer to that one is iffy. The exact size of acceptable gatherings "should be determined based on state, local, territorial or tribal safety laws and regulations," the agency suggested. And, of course, a spread can happen even in small groups.

  • As news about the sheet cakes continued to spread, the shock and outrage only grew -- along with some hilarious commentary on the matter.

    "Is NOTHING sacred?????" one person proclaimed on Facebook.

    "An absolute tragedy," declared someone else.

    "Costco is full of sheet," quipped another.

    A lot of people said this feels like the end of an era.

    "So now I can't buy one 'for a party' and then eat the whole thing myself anymore?" one man queried.

  • Of course, there were plenty of others who felt that, considering the current state of the world, this was hardly newsworthy.

    "Cry me a river," one person said.

    "Go buy from your local bakery," someone else wrote. "Support small businesses."

    "Oh no you might have to bake your own cake for awhile to attend that large gathering your NOT supposed to be at?" another person added. "Come on it's just a cake, it's not the end of the world."

    But for each of those comments, there were at least a dozen more that defended the public outcry over losing something so beloved.

    "Some people have never gotten a Costco cake just for themselves and it shows," one person wrote.

    It certainly does.

  • If you know anything about Costco, it's no surprise that people are having feelings about this.

    Customers are loyal to the wholesaler for a reason, thanks to its unbeatable prices, wide selection of products, and delicious food offerings you can't find anywhere else. 

    In fact, it's amassed a somewhat of a cult-like following in recent years, as customers repeatedly flock back to it for treats such as chocolate-dipped potato chips, peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets, and of course, that infamous sheet cake. Shoppers also love the food court, where you can snag a hot dog or a pizza for a total steal.

    In November, one family even went viral for throwing their 1-year-old a Costco-themed birthday party. And just a few months before that, a couple in Hawaii made headlines for taking some wedding photos at the Costco where they met.

  • Still, as upsetting as the sheet cake news has been for a lot of people, there are some loyal shoppers who aren't giving up hope just yet.

    "Hope they’ll bring the sheet cakes back ... when people need 48 pieces of cake again!" wrote one commenter. "Not anytime soon, though."

    Speaking with the New York Times, Kansas City mom Megan Engles added that at its heart, the upset surrounding Costco's beloved sheet cake is about far more than just our collective sweet tooth.

    "Cakes are at the very center of celebrations," Engles pointed out. "Entire events are even centered around the cutting of the cake. Being able to have them in this time helps create joy and still allows for celebration in a time that some people may feel there isn't a lot to celebrate."