Most people look forward to the holiday season – general merriment, goodwill, parties, time together with family and friends . . . and the return of nearly everything flavored with pumpkin spice! It seems like the first leaf of fall has yet to come off the trees, but that has not stopped fall-themed pumpkin spice products from lining the shelves in your local grocery store. While some of these products are life-changing and you will probably buy your favorite market out of them in order to stock up for the entire year, others are a bit odd and may leave you scratching your head and wondering, "Who on Earth wants that?”
It all started with the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, creating a flavor trend that transcended the coffee world and made its way to many other food and beverage arenas. According to a 2015 Nielson study, sales of pumpkin products have grown by 79% since 2011, totaling $361 million. Nearly 40% of consumers purchased a pumpkin spice-flavored item in 2014. Fast-forward two years and pumpkin spice products occupy even more real estate on store shelves.
One could argue that pumpkin spice is not technically pumpkin flavored, but rather a spice blend made of cinnamon, cloves, dried ginger and sometimes nutmeg and other spices such as mace. Americans have used this medieval European spice combination to add flavor to pumpkins for years. However, this flavor combination has come a long way since its medieval origins, which is evident when you walk down any grocery aisle between the months of October to December.
If you’re tired of the same-old Tropicana Orange Juice, try the pumpkin spice version to give your chilly fall mornings a little kick. If you are a believer in variety being the spice of life, perhaps the Holiday Edition Pringles, featuring a Pumpkin Pie Spice version of the popular chip is right up your alley.
While Pumpkin Spice M&M’s and Jet-Puffed Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows may leave you wondering why no one had thought of this product until recently, Cedar’s All Natural Pumpkin Spice Hummus may seem a bit farfetched.
Here’s a rundown of pumpkin spice products you can find at Lake Charles businesses and on local supermarket shelves. This list is by no means exhaustive. (We have a limited number of pages per issue.)
· Hostess Pumpkin Spice Twinkies
· Kellogg’s Pumpkin Spice Frosted Mini-Wheats
· Pumpkin Harvest Crisp Chobani Greek Yogurt Flip
· Thomas’s Pumpkin Spice English Muffins
· Pumpkin Spice Peeps
· Lucerne Dairy Farm’s Pumpkin Spice Egg Nog
· Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat Beer
· Pumpkin Spice Oreos
· Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Milano Cookies
· Eggo Seasons Pumpkin Spice Waffles
· Spiced Pumpkin Pie Clif Bar
· Tastykake Fall Edition Pumpkin Spice Mini Donuts
· Community Coffee Pumpkin Praline Coffee Grounds and Pods
· Nestle Toll House Pumpkin Spice Cookies
· Nestle Pumpkin Spice Coffee Mate
· Quaker Pumpkin Spice Flavored Instant Oatmeal
Two things are certain while this flavor trend continues: The pumpkin spice salesmen are doing a bang-up job, and not everyone in the country shares this manic love of artificial pumpkin spice flavoring. However, the trend shows no sign of stopping any time soon. Whether you are for or against the pumpkin spice flavors that have made it into all of your favorite products, eating is sure to be a wild ride this season.