The truth behind woolworths' recent mud cake controversy

The Truth Behind Woolworths’ Mud Cake Controversy

While it’s no secret that we love our Tim Tams and Lamingtons Down Under, perhaps no Australian sweet treat is more adored than the supermarket mud cake. However, shoppers have been left outraged after believing Woolworths had snuck in a cost-cutting tactic on their beloved chocolate dessert.

The mud cake has long been a favourite among Aussies seeking an affordable dessert option that won’t break the bank. In our office, it’s become a go-to for birthdays or a quick pick-me-up during those afternoon slumps. Recently, we’ve been enjoying IGA’s version, which we believe might just take the cake (pun very much intended). However, Australians have debated for years whether Coles or Woolworths produces the best cake. But let’s leave that discussion for another time.

Earlier this week, shoppers were puzzled by discrepancies in the weight of two similar products listed online, sparking further talk of ‘shrinkflation’ in supermarkets. One listing is for the ‘Woolworths Cake Chocolate Mud,’ priced at $6.40 and weighing 585 grams, while the other weighing 600 grams and also priced at $6.40, is currently out of stock.

This follows last year’s controversy when both Coles and Woolworths announced price increases for the iconic treat despite posting annual profits of $1 billion. According to Yahoo, the cake’s price rose from $4.80 to $5.75 before reaching $6.40 in April.

@mitcheats We need to hit the streets like the French, we cannot stand for this! #australia #woolworths #mudcake #australianfood #aussie #woollies #woolies #woolworthsmudcake #shrinkflation #inflation โ™ฌ original sound – Money Mitch

One Eagle-eyed Aussie raised the issue, posting a TikTok video (see above) that quickly went viral. Known as Money Mitch on the platform, he claimed that despite the size difference, the price remained unchanged, sparking outrage among Aussies, with some threatening to protest. However, Woolworths responded, explaining why the two items were listed at the same price.

“Rest assured, our iconic chocolate mud cake formula has not undergone any changes,” a Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo Finance. “Depending on the location of stores and other various factors, customers shopping in-store or online will still experience the same mud cake recipe, just with slightly different packaging and mild variations of a cake finished with ganache and icing.”

A Woolworths insider informed Yahoo Finance that the price difference is influenced by store size and the presence of an in-store bakery.

“They are two different products. If there’s no bakery, it comes frozen and is just defrosted and put on shelves. That’s the 600-gram one. But if there is a bakery in store, like the bigger supermarkets, they decorate it by adding icing then pack it,” they explained.

@mitcheats Replying to @miki MUDCAKE UPDATE ๐Ÿšจ #mudcake #woolworths #woolies #wooliesmudcake โ™ฌ original sound – Money Mitch

While this clarification sheds light on the ganache/no-ganache issue, Money Mitch remained sceptical of Woolworths’ statement.

“Woolworths has said that some stores have the 600-gram cake and some stores have the 585-gram cake. Quite honestly, I don’t think we can trust them.”” he expressed. “How long until all stores switch to the 585-gram cake and the 600-gram option ceases? I’m not satisfied with this explanation; all cakes should weigh 600 grams.”

He concluded, “There’s simply no way these mud cakes are the same size as before. I’m not buying it, both literally and figuratively.”

Ouch. Your move, Woolies.

McDonald’s ‘Loose Change’ Menu Controversy

Loose Change menu McDonald's
Image: Reddit

In other fast food drama, saturated fat enthusiasts have also vented their frustrations at McDonald’s latest “loose change” menu, particularly over the hefty $11.95 price tag slapped on a pack of nuggets, as one disgruntled Reddit user highlighted.

The outcry intensified when customers noticed the recent hike in price for a 24-pack of nuggets, now priced at $11.95 compared to the previous $9.95. However, a delve into the archives revealed a surprising twist: nuggets were cheaper a decade ago. Back in 2012, a 20-pack of nuggets was listed at $12.50, which, by our nugget math, translates to a 12-cent increase in price per nugget compared to today’s rates.

Further scrutiny of the 2012 menu unveiled other price escalations, such as the McFlurry jumping from $3.95 to $4.50 and a small chocolate sundae rising from $2.45 to $3.50. These revelations sparked a wave of nostalgia in the comments section of the Reddit post, with users reminiscing about the bygone era of lower Maccas prices.

“Remember when hamburgers were $1 and chicken and cheeses were $3? Now you pay $5+ for a chicken and cheese which has HALF a slice of cheese!” lamented one user. Another chimed in, “Remember when soft serve was only 30c?”

While $11.95 might be pocket change in Monaco, it’s certainly not the case for the average Aussie it seems.

Featured Video from Man of Many

Sam Mangioni
Journalist - Entertainment, Culture & Lifestyle

Sam Mangioni

Sam Mangioni is an experienced content producer and the current Entertainment, Culture & Lifestyle Journalist for Man of Many. With an extensive background in digital content production and news, Sam specialises in delivering timely, accurate and witty assessments of current events. Prior to working for Man of Many, Sam spent three years at Southern Cross Austereo where he served as a Content Producer and News Reporter for the flagship Triple M Breakfast Program. The Sydney-based reporter completed a Bachelor of Commerce from Macquarie University Majoring in Marketing in 2014. Sam's work has also featured in Fight News Australia.