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What is the deal with Pumpkin Spice?

Posted by Kim Wunderlich-Cady on Sep 6, 2016 10:30:00 AM


Okay, I like pumpkin pie as much as the next true blue, fall and Thanksgiving loving American.  There is nothing like a flaky buttery crust (or graham cracker for those of you who enjoy that), thick creamy pumpkin filling, and that dollop of whipped cream (or Cool Whip for you non-dairy types).  Or more than a dollop.  Okay fine, I cover the entire pie slice with a triangle of whipped cream. Don’t judge me! But things have truly gotten out of hand.

I was perusing the aisles at my local box store a few weeks back and saw pumpkin spice flavored foods and drinks were starting to trickle in.   I was in the grocery store yesterday and saw that even more items have arrived.  Two weeks from now I won’t be able to turn a corner in a store, coffee house or market without having pumpkin spice SOMETHING in my face.  What IS this obsession?  And why can’t we be just be happy with a LITTLE of a good thing?

Here are just a few of the things I’ve seen with pumpkin spice labeling:

  • Pumpkin spice coffee K-cups (and other coffees)
  • Pumpkin spice instant latte powder sticks
  • Pumpkin spice granola
  • Pumpkin spice candle and wax melts (of course!)
  • Pumpkin spice air freshener
  • Pumpkin spice lip balm
  • Pumpkin spice chai tea
  • Pumpkin spice Fudge Stripes cookies
  • Pumpkin spice trail mix
  • Pumpkin spice white chocolate covered pretzels
  • Pumpkin spice ice cream
  • Pumpkin spice quinoa 
  • Pumpkin spice pancake and waffle mix
  • Pumpkin spice flax granola bars
  • Pumpkin spice Tastykake mini donuts
  • Pumpkin spice vegetable snack pouch squeezable snacks
  • Pumpkin spice toll house cookies (dough, you bake)
  • Pumpkin spice branded Sudoku puzzles (really!?)
  • Pumpkin spice Belvita breakfast biscuits
  • Pumpkin spice cinnamon spoons
  • Pumpkin spice Coffee Mate creamer
  • Pumpkin spice Halloween costume (again, really!?)
  • Pumpkin spice GoGo squeeze applesauce pouches
  • Pumpkin spice Chobani Greek yogurt
  • Pumpkin spice Cheerios
  • Pumpkin spice pre-bottled Starbucks Frappuccino
  • Pumpkin spice yogurt pretzels
  • Pumpkin spice Duncan Hines cupcake mix and frosting kit
  • Pumpkin spice Friendship Garden book for children
  • Pumpkin spice Eggo frozen waffles
  • Pumpkin spice Chili Seasoning


I’m going to stop there because you get the point. I’ve seen fragrances, chewing gum, cookies, snack cakes galore, baking mixes, breads and beverages not mentioned. It truly feels like complete and total overkill. 

Pumpkin pie, in its season, used to be something special. Something to look forward to.  But now, pumpkin spice’s faddish following and flavor trending is threatening to ruin something that was a treat. A celebration.  

I truly believe that there really can be too much of a good thing.  So, I personally am making a stand. I am not going to eat or taste anything pumpkin spice flavored except actual pumpkin pie.  I MAY burn some candles or use a little air freshener with that scent – because the smell of pumpkin pie baking is certainly a pleasure – but nothing pumpkin flavored that isn’t an actual pie is crossing the lips of this family.

Actually, my husband can’t be trusted. I know that our local barista will fill a few orders for my husband this fall.  And I’m willing to give him that ONE thing.  But only because “Candy Corn Season” is around the corner and there I may meet my Waterloo.  ;)

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Topics: Food, Celebrations, Holidays, American Culture, Family, Nutrition, Dining, Traditions, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Fall, Seasons

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