PSA–Pumpkin Spice invasion arrives in full force–Your seasonal seasoning checklist

No other subject rips conversations apart like it.  It sets brother against brother, spouse against spouse.   What can you say about Pumpkin Spice that hasn’t already been said?  It may be the elephant in the room at your house, but here we’re goin’ to throw all our cards on the table.  It’s everywhere, so why not embrace it?  (Unless you hate it).  You can’t love pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and shun the same flavor dripped into your coffee, or muffin, or yogurt, or cereal.  (Right?)  So like the “Big G” Monster Cereals, the arrival of the most sought-after of spices is in full swing (they’re back, too, all again except for Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy).  We first saw the flavor of pumpkin spice in grocery stores beginning way back on August 18.  But now you don’t need to be a spice smuggler to find it.  The flavor has done more than infuse itself into a few coffee shops.  And it’s now taken over pretty much every aisle of the store.

Often labeled “with pumpkin” or “pumpkin-flavored” or “limited time only” in marketing materials–presumably to ward off buyers offended by the PS banner–the “sans spice” labeling will not fool us.  Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice and maybe some actual pumpkin or just a flavoring added in, is mixed-together-magic.  We’re going to tell you it’s okay to climb aboard and enjoy the ride.  (Or don’t).

We finally decided to track everything we see this year.  And here’s what we found, some new, some you may have seen before:

Just try to tell us these Toll House Baking Truffles wouldn’t make for an amazing cookie.

Pumpkin Spice Life.  What more can you say?

“Big G” isn’t going to pass up the season with Monster Cereals alone. We tried this Cheerios last year and it’s a solid, subtle twist on the regular version.

Quaker’s Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal is pretty good, but probably not as good as its normal Cinnamon & Spice version.

It’s not just a cereal–Rice Krispies knows what we want: Pumpkin Pie and Marshmallow.

With Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts finally hitting the shelves this week.

Thomas makes great English muffins.  None of its variants beat its seasonal maple–an egg on cheese with maple is pretty much breakfast perfection.  These were surprisingly cake-like for an English muffin, so you’ll want to toast these longer than normal.

Of course, coffee is going to have the flavoring available, and that’s thanks to Starbucks for the spread of Pumpkin Spice everywhere.  Starbucks’ variant ground coffee was in stores in mid-August this year.  Then came the Keurig and iced versions.

And these cookie stirrers.

Other brands have entered the arena with the flavor, like Bones Coffee, Cameron’s, Dunkin’ and The Roasterie.

As with coffee, so with creamers.  Coffee Mate was first in stores this year.

With International Delight’s “Pumpkin Pie Spice” and Nut Pods arriving this week.

This Pumpkin Dust came highly recommended.

Hostess got a jump on the other snack cake companies with the first releases of the season, with both Cupcakes and Twinkies.  The cupcakes are pretty darned good.

Little Debbie wasn’t far behind in hitting the stores with its Pumpkin Delights.

Gratuitous pumpkin photo.

And Pumpkin Spice Rolls.

Adding to the mix, this week we saw Entenmann’s first products hit the shelves, with its hard to resist Pumpkin Donut crullers and Pumpkin Muffins.

Live it.  Learn it.  Love it.  (Or don’t)

Think local, too.  Our grocery store went all out this year, including a really good take on the classic banana flip.  And a local restaurant served up a pumpkin spice pancake.

Other snacks?  How about pumpkin Sunbelt Granola Bars, or some Pumpkin Spice AlmondsBlue Diamond also offers the almonds.

Or taffy?

Or Werther’s?

Or Yogurt Pretzels?

Speaking of yogurt.  First out this year was Dannon.  The technical description for the flavor of these would be “nom-nom.”

And a few weeks later we saw Chobani′s “Pumpkin and Spice.”

Another gratuitous pumpkin photo.

Heads-up.  This Glade product says “toasty,” not “tasty.”  Do not eat.  It’s a candle.

Betty Crocker has a new variant on their great mug desserts, and a Pumpkin Spice cookie to try.

PS Betty Crocker

Andersen Ericksen Dairy has a fantastic new Pumpkin Spice Egg Nog.

PS Egg Nog

Swiss Miss has a Pumpkin Spice cocoa.

PS Swiss Miss

And we’ll leave you with one more item we saw in the store only today.  We expect this Land o’ Lakes Pumpkin Pie Spice Butter to taste like “buttuh” (as Mike Myers might say).

See any we missed?  Let us know in the comments.  These are all we’ve seen in stores.  We heard there are some other, stranger products on the market.  Pumpkin Spice Spam, Burt’s Bees Lipbalm, Dairy Queen Pumpkin Spice Blizzard, Nuccina Pumpkin Spice Cookie Butter, Lantana Pumpkin Spice Hummus, Tazo Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea, Pumpkin Pie Frosted Flakes, Belvita Pumpkin Spice Cookies, Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats, Frosted Flakes, and Crunch Cereal, Pumpkin Pie Kit Kats, and Pumpkin Spice Oreos appear to be legit, although they haven’t made it to our Midwest stores–yet.  It’s still early, right?

C.J. Bunce

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