RBI makes cakes from scratch, including Kosher and gluten-free. He's very proud of his products, too.
Grocery stores generally use commercially made (mix) cakes that arrive in frozen slabs and are then cut into the desired shapes.
I thought it was in interesting group of "testers", if a very small sampling. It covered male & female and very young to well into middle age--and the results didn't surprise me one bit.
I've only entered 2 cake tasting competitions. In both cases, my entries were essentially WASC cakes using the particular flavors or ingredients prescribed by the contest. I came in 2nd the first time and 1st the second time, competing against--and beating--at least 10 other cakes in each contest, most of which were NOT based on box mixes. I even had to supply my recipes to prove that I'd used the special ingredients.
In each case, the judges were professionally trained pastry chefs--big, recognizable names in the industry including 3 who've authored baking books. I received glowing compliments on my cakes and icings (I don't use a standard meringue BC, either).
I suppose I could have just been the best of a bad bunch of bakers, but I didn't take it that way because several competitors owned successful, high end baking businesses. I was ecstatic that a group of "educated" palates really liked my cakes. Some of the competitors asked me about my cakes and when I told them that I started with mixes, well, let's just say that they weren't very happy.
I really marvel at people being angry at others for what they like--that's pretty funny.