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Have Pumpkin-Flavored Products Gone Too Far?

October 7, 2014

Over a decade ago, Starbucks launched its Pumpkin Spice Latte and, with it, a revolution. Its success led to almost every company in the world trying to get its piece of the “pumpkin pie.” It’s a big pie. Sales rose to $308 million last year. Even actual pumpkins have become more popular. We now have a record number of pumpkin farms in agriculture. If you’re out to indulge in some nutmeg and clove seasoned festivity, you have a lot of options. I see them in three categories:

Well, that sort of makes sense.

Dunkin Donuts launched a seasonal coffee to match its competitor, along with the almost required donuts and muffins. Baked goods mimicking pie seems like a no brainer to me. Dunkin Donuts
Of course, given the origin of the trend, several companies put out pumpkin spiced coffee creamers. Pumpkin Pie Cream
Ice cream parlors and grocery aisles are lined with pumpkin based seasonal flavors, including this Pumpkin Pie ice cream by Baskin Robbins. Pumpkin Ice Cream
Perhaps the most prolific boom in seasonal variety is the beer industry. You can find over 600 flavors out there.
Pumpkin Cider
I can even make peace with the Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses and M&M’s. They aren’t what I would eat, but like cheesecake, they can adapt to many different flavors. Pumpkin Kisses

Really?! I guess if you like that kind of stuff.

(Most of these would make my personal “No way” list but since I know some people really love this seasonal stuff, these don’t seem completely out there.)

Thomas Bros. English Muffins in Pumpkin Spice. The problem is that these aren’t real muffins. They aren’t meant to be sweet or savory. Thomas Pumpkin Muffins
Country Crock Pumpkin Spice Spread. Flavored fake butter? I’m guessing this is for my pumpkin muffins. Country Crock Pumpkin
Several types of gum … because nothing says fresh breath like nutmeg. Pumpkin Gum
Oreos and Jell-O. I know pie is sweet but these just don’t match in my mind. It’s a texture thing. Pumpkin pie shouldn’t be crunchy. And definitely not jiggly! Pumpkin Oreo

Um … no. Just no.

Pringles. Who in the world thought, “Hey you know what goes with pie? Chips!”?
Pumpkin Pringles
Vodka, Kahlua, or Whiskey. I know the Pumpkin Beer is a hit but trendy hard liquor just seems like an oxymoron. Pumpkin Kahlua
Pumpkin flavored liquid for e-cigarettes. Huh? How is this a thing? Pumpkin E Cigarette
Dog cologne. I think my objection to this is less about the pumpkin part and more about the idea of dogs wearing cologne. Pumpkin Dog

A rumor went around that there were now Pumpkin Flavored condoms, which might require an entirely new category. But, I am happy to report, it was totally false.

If you’re craving real pumpkin, check out all of these great ideas and recipes! A Dessert Change Up: Pumpkin Cheesecake or Zucchini Bread, Holiday Baking: Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust & Pumpkin Lust Cake, and Plentiful Pumpkins: Decorate, Dinnertime, Desserts!

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