It’s still popular, though lots of people don’t care for it. The red is optional - Duncan Hines had an “Autumn Velvets” mix last fall - one layer orange, the other brown. I bought it because I cook for one. This allowed me to make two separated cakes, months apart, without the hassle of halving the contents myself. (Before folks comment about the ease of scratch cake, cake mix additives ensure a moist cake that doesn’t stale and since it takes me a week or more to finish even a single layer cake, it’s an instance when I set aside my aversion to additives/preservatives.) Last week I snapped up a “Spring Velvets” mix - one pink layer, one yellow, at 50% off.
All it is is typical layer cake with a slight chocolate flavor - imagine what a white chocolate cake would taste like. This, in combination with cream cheese frosting, has appeal for many people. I once attempted a “violet velvet” cake for someone whose favorite color is purple, but the color was a disappointment. The candied violets on the cream cheese frosting were pretty, though.
I like the Duff/Ace of Cakes-created RV flavor of Blue Bunny ice cream. I don’t know if it is still being sold, since my supermarket no longer carries Blue Bunny.