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Costco stops selling half-sheet cakes

Costco has eliminated the iconic half-sheet cakes that are the centerpiece of graduation and birthday parties.

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The past few months have been chaotic for Costco customers, with product limitations, long lines and the temporary elimination of free food samples. Now, it appears there's another change for devoted shoppers: Costco has eliminated the iconic half-sheet cakes that are the centerpiece of graduation and birthday parties.

Costco has quietly stopped selling the $20 half-sheet cakes across its U.S. stores for the past month, instead pointing people toward its 10-inch round cakes and other assorted bake goods.

"To help limit personal contact and create more space for social distancing, Costco has reduced service in some departments," the company explained to outraged customers on its Facebook account. In a statement to the New York Times, Costco said it has no plans to immediately bring back the half-sheet cakes and said the round cakes are "resonating with our members."

Costco didn't immediately return CNN Business' request for comment.

The decision also coincides with a recommendation from several U.S. states and health agencies to avoid or prohibit large gatherings in light of COVID-19. Half-sheet cakes feeds around 50 people, while its 10-inch round cakes feeds around a dozen.

Kroger and Sam's Club stores have also appeared to stopped selling the half-sheet cake, according to an online search. However, Walmart, Albertson's and H-E-B are still selling sheet cakes of various sizes.

Despite a growing number of coronavirus cases, a Costco executive previously told CNN Business it's "trying to get back to normal, as areas around the country are trying to do the same."

The chain started bringing back free food samples in a handful of stores and plans to roll them out to additional locations in coming weeks. Costco is also loosening restrictions on the number of people members are allowed to bring with them during shopping trips.