(UPDATE: Starbucks no longer carries the Valencia Orange Cake.)
Starbucks Corp. will begin selling its first gluten-free pastry in its U.S. stores next month in response to requests from its customers.
The pastry, called Valencia Orange Cake, will be made with seven ingredients which are all 100 percent gluten-free, the company said. The cake will be sold in individually wrapped packages for $2.25 each and will be available beginning May 5.
Starbucks said it wanted to offer its gluten-free customers more choices.
"I think one of the things we learned right from the get-go from our gluten-free customers is they can't eat away from home very easily," said Adrienne Knapp, a product manager in the food category at Starbucks. "A cake is actually really hard to find for someone that's a gluten-free consumer."
Gluten is a protein common in rye, wheat, barley and other grains. More than 3 million Americans are thought to suffer from a condition called celiac disease, which is associated with intolerance to gluten. Even more people claim they are sensitive to wheat and other gluten-filled grains.
Starbucks said it has received numerous requests from its customers for gluten-free foods on its mystarbucksidea.com Web site. The site allows customers to submit ideas for how to improve the company, its drinks and its food.