Costco customers across the country may notice one fan-favorite product missing from shelves these days: the bulk shopping chain’s popular half-sheet cakes.
The grocer quietly removed them from stores this spring, sharing in a Facebook post on May 29 that “half-sheet cakes are currently not available to order or customize.” In June, the company shared that it has "no immediate plans" to bring the cakes back, according to a statement to CNN.
A representative from Costco did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Typically priced at $20, the rectangular cakes have been popular among customers for their size and affordability, with many choosing to buy them to feed large groups during special occasions, like graduations and birthday parties.
Now, the chain appears to be pushing a new bakery item: a round, 10-inch cake much smaller in size than the half-sheet cake.
The company confirmed this move — and its reasoning behind it — in a statement made to Delish last week: "We are currently not selling our 1/2 sheet cakes at any US locations … We are focusing on our smaller 10" White & 10" Chocolate Cakes that seem to be resonating with our members."
A representative for Costco shared in a Facebook comment that the decision also comes in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the need for social distancing. “To help limit personal contact and create more space for social distancing, Costco has reduced service in some departments,” the representative wrote. “At this time, we are not making sheet cakes for special order. Thank you for understanding."
Some fans of the half-sheet cakes are far from pleased with this decision, with one enthusiast even going as far as creating a petition last week on Change.com. Named “Costco Bring Back The Half-Sheet Cake,” the petition description reads, “Bring back the amazing Costco half-sheet cakes! Birthdays and special occasions will never be the same. Pure perfection!”
As of Friday afternoon, it has been signed over 250 times.
A supporter named Zach M. from Springfield, Massachusetts, wrote on the petition page, “There is not one single cake on earth better than Costco's half sheet cake. I fear that my daughter's future may hold birthday parties with some lesser cake when all you had to do was not pull your single most valuable creation from its beautiful stainless steel shelf. #BringBackTheSheet.”
Another, Andrea Powell from West Windsor, Vermont, shared, “I’m terribly disappointed that the sheet cakes are not available. We order at least 1 every year to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We get a duplicate of our original wedding party cake on each anniversary… These round cakes are beautiful and I’m sure taste the same, however, they do NOT take the place of a sheet cake.”
It’s unclear whether the half-sheet cake will return to Costco locations once it is safe to do so amid the pandemic.
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