Here’s a question: is it insensitive to bake cakes inspired by a catastrophic act of nature?
As Florida prepares to be battered by Hurricane Dorian, a grocery chain has come under fire for its efforts to lighten the tension.
Publix are selling a chocolate chip cookie cake – retailing at $10.99 – topped with icing made to look like a radar map and it shows the eye of the storm hurtling towards the Florida.
By the time Hurricane Dorian hits Florida on Labor Day (September 2), it could be classified as a Category 5 Hurricane – which would place the state’s residents in immense danger and likely cause a massive amount of damage.
For this reason, some shoppers have raised their eyebrows at the breezy sweet treats – which have a range of hurricane-themed designs intended to make shoppers laugh, MailOnline reports.
— Jaymoola™ 🇯🇲 (@Jaymoola) August 30, 2019
One user wrote: ‘Your Hurricane Cookies are in extremely poor taste and very insensitive.’ Another wrote: ‘I second this! #Publix needs to stop that tradition. It’s distasteful and isn’t funny!’
In response, a Publix media representative wrote:
Thank you for your feedback on the cakes. It is never our goal to offend anyone with the products we offer and I apologize that we let you down. Individual locations did make some of the hurricane cakes you’ve seen and I will personally share your feedback on this cake.
One woman wasn’t satisfied with the apology – she explained she ‘lost practically everything to Hurricane Andrew [in 1992]. I do not take it lightly and it’s serious to me. PTSD is real. Everyone knows Public is not going to stop making these just from one complaint, but I felt I had to let them know that some may find them unclassy and insensitive.’
However, many Floridians have rushed to the chain’s defence – explaining that it’s a bit of fun that’s perfect for the widespread anxiety around Hurricane season.
@Publix I live in Florida and I understand the intent, as a matter of fact I asked my daughter who works there if her store had some. There is a lot of stress, and there’s nothing wrong with cake and wine while we wait to see what Dorian is going to do. This 1 is my fav #publix pic.twitter.com/4PlgnbGLCC
— Rumi2018 (@Rumi20181) August 31, 2019
One user wrote: ‘I’m mad Publix can’t make the hurricane cakes because a few people are too sensitive. We know what’s important but let us have delicious happiness during this stress. It’s important to have a laugh now and again.’
Another user wrote in support of the hurricane cakes:
People need to stop being mad at stupid things that don’t matter. It’s a damn cake! By the way – Publix is also bottling water, getting it on trucks and into stores faster than anyone. They will be open after the storm to serve. The cake is the last of your worries.
President Donald Trump recently said Hurricane Dorian could be ‘an absolute monster’.
Maybe it’s wise to be more focused on the real dangers of the storm, rather than complaining about a shop’s harmless efforts to put people at ease.
Plus, they look really tasty.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.