Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kroger Upside Down Cake

Upon seeing this BzzCampaign first announced, I had mentioned to my friend Jessica that I would love to get into it and that this would therefore mean I wouldn't get into it. I don't have lofty ambitions: I didn't want the "brew your own beer" station BzzCampaign, just a cake!

So imagine my delight a couple of days later when I got the "congratulations on your new campaign!" email. I was ecstatic! And this is where the disappointment began, ladies and gentlemen.

It took me several weeks to find the cakes at my local Kroger. We have two, but one is considerably less nice than the other and it never did get them in. The one by my house is very nice, though, and I scoured it every single grocery trip, trying to find these delectable-looking treats. One evening, I found them! At last. But my confusion began: they were sitting on a table, and I had somehow garnered the impression that these were refrigerated/chilled cakes? I shrugged, picked it up, and plunked it in my cart. A couple of days later, my boyfriend and I decided to give it a go.

It looks innocuous enough, right? Seems to be what's on the banner I posted above, and is lower than the $12 price point I read about online. (it was complementary due to BzzAgent's campaign, and $9.99 is still more than I can afford for most cakes, but good to know). We opened up the packaging and took a look at the instructions: you simply put it on a cookie sheet and baked it for a little while, then flipped it over, popped it out and voila! 

This is the finished product:

If you scroll up and look at the packaging, you'll notice a slight discrepancy here. I'm not saying every food has to look 100% like its packaging, but this just looks sloppy and frankly unappetizing. We were undeterred though and cut it into eighths, each taking a slice. I took no reaction photos, but I am pretty sure our faces said it all.

This was awful. As in, "we had eight pieces and threw away the other six" awful. I couldn't place it, but my boyfriend thoughtfully pointed it out to me: "It tastes like a shelf-stable cake, like a snack cake." And he was right. It tasted like prepackaged dark chocolate slathered on a thick, too-sweet cake. Now, I love chocolate and if it's got chocolate in it I can usually be convinced to like it. I even went back later and swiped a tiny sliver of one of the remaining six pieces, but no. It was still gross. And what felt even worse was the fact that they were going to make people pay $10 for it.

I think that if these cakes were made fresh and served chilled, it would be a vast improvement. But a shelf-stable cake has to be made with shelf-stable ingredients, and unfortunately those just do not lend themselves to excellent-tasting cake. I usually love everything Kroger has to offer, and so this post has saddened me because I hated having to write it, but I am hopeful that the next campaign I get in will bring back the fresh-tasting food I know and love. Thanks for the opportunity, Kroger, and better luck next time.