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Starbucks: Goodbye Gluten-Free Orange Valencia Cake, Hello [Yummy] Kind Fruit + Nut Bars

By July 16, 2009

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For weeks I've been hearing rumors that Starbucks has been disappointed in the sales of its gluten-free Orange Valencia cake. Today on Twitter, @Starbucks said the Orange Valencia cake is being discontinued, to be replaced by Kind Fruit + Nut Bars. The cake, evidently, was too much a "treat" and not enough of a healthy snack. I'm a bit sad to admit that I agree with that assessment. Personally, I wasn't buying the cake very often because at 290 calories (including 16 grams of fat), it didn't matter how good it tasted... I just couldn't afford those calories.

As it happens, I saw (and bought) a gluten-free, dairy-free Kind Fruit + Nut Bar in a local Starbucks about a week ago, and I'm happy to tell you I loved it. The Kind Fruit + Nut Bars are a mix of nuts and fruit, high in fiber, with a low glycemic index. They're less expensive than the cake, and much more easily portable. (I stashed mine in my purse and ate it two days later.)

I'm grateful to Starbucks for its efforts to serve the gluten-free community, and I'm sorry to see the Orange Valencia cake go... but I'm happy they've chosen to replace it with Kind Fruit +Nut Bars.

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July 16, 2009 at 12:35 am
(1) Adrienne says:

I agree with you about the Valencia cake — plus it was messy! I never wanted to get it while I was driving because it leaves a ton of crumbs everywhere and gets your hands really sticky. The bar sounds like a better option all the way around.

I’m really grateful that they didn’t just bag the whole gluten-free thing and found a replacement.

July 16, 2009 at 3:12 am
(2) Jean F says:

I ate one of the Orange Valencia cakes every single day while I was at the Cleveland Clinic last month. I’m really going to miss that product. Is there another similar gluten free cake on the market? All I have to worry about with calories is getting enough of them :)

July 16, 2009 at 4:27 am
(3) karen aka brazen says:

i’m shocked that they would only allow themselves one option. here in australia even the smallest cafe will have one option and a chain like gloria jeans or michels pattiserie will generally have at least 2 or 3.

July 16, 2009 at 11:32 am
(4) Sara says:

I am quite disappointed they are discontinuing this and replacing it with a Kind bar. Lets face it when it comes to formulation of gluten-free baked goods you are not going to find anything out there that is “low calorie” the whole point of this project was to provide CAKE not a health food item to consumers. If they are so concerned about the “health” aspect of this then they need to audit the rest of their menu as well. Kind bars can be bought anywhere (usually for cheaper than what you would pay at Starbucks). What’s the point of us buying them there when we could just bring them ourselves?

July 16, 2009 at 12:42 pm
(5) Pam says:

I just love the KIND bars. But it’s a shame about the gluten-free cake.

July 16, 2009 at 1:33 pm
(6) terry says:

but i can buy the kind bars — and countless other bars like it — in several other stores. what i can’t find is a nice little fresh(ish) GF baked item at my local coffeehouse, so i’m really disappointed in this decision.

i do appreciate starbucks’ efforts to accomodate us, and i’m guessing if they weren’t having such financial trouble (as all companies are today) they might have given it more time. another victim of the economy!

July 16, 2009 at 10:00 pm
(7) Jean F says:

I agree with Sara. I do not want to be stuffed into the “health food” box either-I want regular food, like everyone else. Doughnuts, cake, chicken nuggets and pizza! So the Non-celiacs at Starbucks can have the lemon poundcake, but we’re stuck with the twigs and berries because its “healthy”??? I’ll going to have a couple of Kinnikinnick maple doughnuts and a glass of whole milk now…

July 17, 2009 at 1:20 pm
(8) Kathy Dee says:

I bought the Valencia Cake actually 2 times. Once to try and once as a sample for a class I was teaching. Thanks to Starbucks for “getting” that healthy and snacky can go together.

July 17, 2009 at 6:50 pm
(9) littleleers says:

Disappointing! I loved the Valencia orange cake as a special treat. Kind bars are o.k, but they are available everywhere….and they are not pastry. Like many gluten free people, I carry snack bars with me all the time. This is not a big treat. I eat healthy enough at home for crying out loud.

We would like to feel special sometimes. A Kind bar just doesn’t cut it.

I also think the lack of sales had to do with the fact that a “sample cake” was not ever put on display. Every other bakery item can be seen, but the Valencia cake was “in the back,” Having one of the cakes on display at all times would have increased sales.

July 17, 2009 at 7:31 pm
(10) Jennifer says:

Please don’t take it away!!! Will there be anywhere to get the Valencia Orange Cakes? I just wanted something “bad” that I could get through the drive thru once in a while. I buy kind bars at the store and although they are good, they get boring. I am really going to miss my treat!

July 21, 2009 at 11:55 pm
(11) birthday cake pictures says:

I have always loved fruit and nut bars, any brand, but especially Nestle!

July 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm
(12) Pauline says:

Since Starbucks is not providing GF items perhaps we should start patronizing other coffee shops. Here in the DC area there are several coffee shops that provide GF items (more than one) fresh everyday. So if you are looking for a coffee shop try Buzz Bakery and Coffee in Alexandria or Natalia’s Elegant Creations in the city of Falls church.

July 22, 2009 at 1:21 pm
(13) Renee Sterner says:

I loved the orange cake!Yea it was fattening and the bars are good too but we need another pastry just healthier.I’m just glad that their thinking of us celiacs.

July 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm
(14) Lisa says:

When my friend and I go out to starbucks I am not looking to eat a packaged bar! I am looking for something very gooey good! My friends brownie isn’t good for her so why does mine have to be good for me…..I think that they just did not want the hassle of having to check the expiration dates. Becuse I am sure they are not sellable for very long.
I must just even boycott….

July 22, 2009 at 10:41 pm
(15) Elizabeth says:

They should have offered other items that are fat free and low and fat. Just because it is gluten free doesn’t mean that it has to be loaded with fat. Get on the ball Star Bucks. If you want to please the Celiac people and want to make some $$$ that get someone to bring these products in. Kind Bars are great, but they are not a slice of cake. Hope to see some fat free, low fat, gf items. Regards….Elizabeth

July 23, 2009 at 10:38 am
(16) Pete says:

I wish I could try either, I visit Starbucks on a regular basis for coffee etc. But here in Canada we did not see either of these items. The stores here have never even heard about it.

July 23, 2009 at 12:34 pm
(17) Paulette says:

We eat healthy bars all the time for emergencies. This cake was a treat. My kids would have used them to take to B-day parties etc. They don’t want to take a bar…

We are so tired of eating salads, nuts, dried fruit and bars when we go places. The new bar for us is not even slightly appealing.

July 23, 2009 at 4:12 pm
(18) Connie says:

I didn’t care for the Orange Cake – too sweet and mushy for a breakfast food. Obviously there was too much waste or Starbucks wouldnt have discontinued it. If we want to have major corporations meet our needs, we need to support the effort with our wallets along with our comments. How many people are just signing this petition but never went and bought the Orange Cake? Let’s tell Starbucks what we would buy, and what they could provide that wouldn’t be as perishable or unhealthy. So many times I have been disappointed at the airport because the fruit and yogurt cup has granola on top. I would be thrilled if they had the fruit and yogurt cup with no topping and I would buy that plus the Kind Bar to have with my Grande Latte.

July 23, 2009 at 11:35 pm
(19) cd says:

It may be that I am still getting used to a gluten free diet, I thought the valencia cake was weird. Like most gf breads, pasta, etc. the texture was weird and it has strands of something or other in it. No loss for me. I do love the KIND bars.

July 24, 2009 at 8:10 am
(20) Laura says:

No, no, no! The orange valencia cakes were a terrific treat. It was great to not have to remember to take a snack with me when going for coffee or do without. The KIND bars, while worthy, all taste the same – like sawdust – and feel like punishment food. Maybe Starbucks could come up with a simple GF biscotti that has a longer shelf life? If I can do that in my home kitchen it should not be beyond the ability of their professional nutritionists and chefs. Don’t give up on us, Starbucks; we’re a growing market.

July 24, 2009 at 10:59 am
(21) John Rosevear says:

Nancy, it is voices like yours that ensure that food choices for Celiacs will continue to be largely limited to these stupid sawdusty rabbit food offerings. Starbucks’ whole point is to offer a treat — they offer at least a dozen glutened cookies and muffins and whatnot at any given time. They FINALLY offered one for us — and it was tasty! — and now they’re replacing it with yet another stupid nut bar. I DON’T NEED ALL OF THE TREATS ELIMINATED FROM MY LIFE!

August 1, 2009 at 7:46 pm
(22) Pat says:

I agree with the comments that celiacs need a special TREAT like everyone else gets at Starbucks. I am recently diagnosed so am having withdrawal from treats. I never ate too many of them before, but now I want them because I can’t have them! Good GF bakery is very hard to find & it would be nice if Starbucks & other coffee shops offered a GF treat. I get excited when I find special GF treats & will return to that business to get them! :-)

August 4, 2009 at 8:35 pm
(23) karla says:

Personally I hate to see the GF valencia cake go. I have tried to buy up all the ones I can find. I love these cakes and they tasted amazing. We looked forward to going to starbucks just for the Valencia cake. it will be missed. I like Kind bars but I have recently been diagnosed with a nut allergy and can’t have them. I think they should keep both the cake and the bars to accommodate those with nut allergies, gluten allergies and issues with the fat content. I want to see the Valencia Orange cake come back. I miss them already.

August 17, 2009 at 5:37 am
(24) sandra says:

I agree with Connie and John Rosevear… I think if a lot more Celiacs knew about the cake it would have sold more. They should have advertised it better, the only reason I knew about it was because I was bored one day using google like a maniac and came across the good news. I bought two the same day! I also believe if we just keep accepting not being treated like “normal” people and having to say thank you to snacks my 90 year old grandpa didn’t even like, nothing will change for us…

“So the Non-celiacs at Starbucks can have the lemon poundcake, but we’re stuck with the twigs and berries because its “healthy”???” – I couldn’t have said it better myself!

and i want to say thank you to Betty Crocker for making Gluten Free Bakery Mixes!! I just made some Chocolate chip cookies and i dont care how “unhealthy” they are!! They are Great!! Now that’s what i call a treat!

September 2, 2009 at 2:29 pm
(25) M says:

I don’t understand why anyone ate that cake. The one time I tried it, I immed. got the migraine I always get from eating gluten. So I concluded it was not gluten free at all. There wasn’t a lot of it in it — b/c my headache was not horrific — but there was def. some in there. I dont think it was cross- contaminated either b/c it was individually wrapped. So my question is…didn’t anyone else get sick? I would never touch those things again. I’m glad they’re gone. Bring on ACTUAL GLUTEN-FREE FOOD PLEASE, Starbucks!

December 12, 2009 at 10:21 am
(26) Michael says:

I loved the cake! I don’t need to eat gluten free and I chose it almost 100% of the time I wanted a baked good. I agree that the “stringiness” was weird (always kind of freaked me out), but it was moist and delicious – beautiful flavor with coffee. A fruit and nut bar isn’t a substitute, it’s a cop out.

January 15, 2010 at 9:58 pm
(27) shanna says:

Star bucks in Pensacola Fl. is selling prepackaged cookies that are delicious! The brand is Lucy’s and they come in chocolate chip,cinnamon,sugar.They are made by a woman with a celiac child. I had to ask for them as they were under the counter. They need to advertise Gluten Free a bit louder and believe me, we will buy them. The orange cake was good but was not advertised well at all. Lucy’s cookies are so good , I bought 20bags and I’m going to make up for 9 yrs. without good cookies and milk !!

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