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‘Tis the Season of Pumpkin Spice

Posted At: October 9, 2013 4:27 p.m.
by Sarah de Jong
It is finally the season of football, sweaters and crunchy leaves. As a child, fall meant eating candy corn until your stomach hurt, then consuming even more on Halloween. Well, move over candy corn; pumpkins are officially “in.” Pumpkins are everywhere, and I’m not talking about the vegetable.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, or “PSL” if you’re a real Starbucks addict. It seems as though the coffee empire has made the pumpkin more popular than ever.​

But, is Starbucks to blame for the invasion of the pumpkin? In addition to the latte, Starbucks also features its seasonal pumpkin bread, muffin, scone and croissant.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is now what many Americans think of when they think of colder weather. The latte officially debuted this year on September 3, weeks earlier than in years past. For the Starbucks obsessed customers, they could say “PSL10” and “unlock” the latte in their store beginning August 28.

Vegans are drawing even more attention to the coffee giant for their disapproval of Starbucks’ pumpkin spice flavoring. They are outraged that one of the ingredients is milk, and they are trying to make Starbucks change the recipe. Regardless, the pumpkin is helping Starbucks stay in the news.

The company has sold more than 200 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes since 2003 and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Now it seems as though every food or drink brand is trying to come up with a pumpkin spice product to keep up with Starbucks.There are pumpkin spice flavored donuts, Pop-Tarts, Keurig K-Cups, M&M’s, soy milk, almonds, English muffins, Pringles and even vodka.

I love pumpkin spice flavored things as much as the next gal, but this season the flavor seems to be going too far. They say that imitation is the best form of flattery, but other companies are hurting their brands by introducing all the pumpkin products they can think of to consumers.

As much as I hate to say it, the Pumpkin Spice Latte doesn’t even taste as good this year. One of my favorite things about fall was that I could only get pumpkin flavored items for a limited time, in limited places. Now, the market is becoming too saturated and as much as I adore pumpkins, I am beginning to get tired of them (I know, I’m sad too).

There is even an overly spoofed movie trailer for pumpkin spice showcasing how it is taking over the world:

I’m ready to go back to the days when pumpkins were just the orange winter squash that sat on front porches and were in the occasional slice of pie. But hey, I guess it’s a good season to be a pumpkin.


  1. Post comment

    I’m not a fan of pumpkin flavored things, but I agree with your article. The pumpkin mania in the food market is really starting to get out of hand. For instance, once fall started, my friend, Allie, kept telling me how excited she was for pumpkin ice cream. The thought of pumpkin ice cream somewhat grossed me out, but as I earlier mentioned, I’m not a true fan of pumpkins in general. The day the specialtiy pumpkin flavor ice cream was released, Allie went straight to the store to grab not one, but two cartons of it. Again, I didn’t understand her infatuation with it until one evening when I went with her to the grocery store. Just walking around the store I passed pumpkin flavored Jello, cake mix, Poptarts, Coffe Mate, soup, ICEEs, spicy pumpkin ale and Oreos. I never knew how popular a flavor could be, and until reading your article, never did I stop to notice just how crazy pumpkin flavored treats had become. I’m not sure if it’s because Halloween just passed, but to be honest, it kind of feels like a creepy food market obsession—one that needs to end.


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