These Items Prove the Pumpkin Trend Has Gone Too Far

By Jamie GreysonLast Updated Jul 24, 2020 8:19:12 PM ET
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Photo Courtesy: @Veggiemacabre/Twitter

Every year, the launch of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte signals the beginning of "Pumpkin Season" — formerly known as fall or autumn. And every year, brands of all sorts — from Bath & Body Works to Pringles — try to capitalize on this trend.

Love it or hate it, surely everyone can agree that some products should not undergo a pumpkin transformation. Read on to discover some of the most ridiculous items that prove the pumpkin trend has gone too far.

Pumpkin Spice & White Fudge Peeps

Peeps are already a "love them or hate them" Easter candy. Every few months, the folks behind the marshmallow chicks and bunnies like to push the envelope and grab a share of other holidays’ treat spending. After all, they want Peeps to remain relevant well past April these days.

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Photo Courtesy: @PeopleFood/Twitter

What are some of these inventions? Besides Peeps in various holiday colors and shapes, they collaborated to make Peeps-flavored coffee creamer, Oreos and cereal, just to name a few. Clearly, it was only a matter of time before the marshmallows dipped a droopy beak into the pumpkin spice trend.

Pumpkin Spice Spam

Spam is already a food item that inspires harsh judgements from a lot of folks. If you already aren’t down for Spam and eggs, it’s possible this pumpkin spice version of Spam will really turn your stomach. Nevertheless, Hormel Foods encourages customers "to look beyond lattes and donuts" with this item.

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Photo Courtesy: @GhouliaChilds/Twitter

According to Hormel, the limited-edition flavor features a blend of spices — cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg. You know, all the things you really enjoy in pumpkin pie. The makers of Spam suggest making this part of your autumnal breakfast menu.

Pumpkin Spice Biocellulose Face Mask (& 20+ Other Items) by Trader Joe’s

No one does seasonal fare like Trader Joe’s. The winter holiday season alone is packed with treats ranging from peppermint bark to the Thanksgiving leftovers-themed Gobbler wrap. But the grocery store’s fall line may take the (pumpkin) cake. This year, Trader Joe’s is going a step further and offering a pumpkin spice face mask.

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Photo Courtesy: @jbursz/Twitter

Pumpkin self-care not your thing? No problem, this Bubba Gump of pumpkin boasts a ton of autumnal treats. Here are a few standouts: Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s (think Oreos), pumpkin spice granola bars, pumpkin almond beverage, pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin tortilla chips and pumpkin ravioli.

Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast Pumpkin Spice Rum

Most breweries serve up a pumpkin-influenced beer every fall, but Captain Morgan is taking pumpkin drinks to the next level. Step aside, Fireball — there’s a new Friday night shot on the menu. As you might expect, the seasonal Jack-O’Blast mixes pumpkin spice and spiced rum.

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Photo Courtesy: @AdvBrian_Amanda/Twitter

Although the Captain suggests enjoying this one as a chilled shot, it’s also a great additive if you’re making an autumnal cocktail. Best of all, the seasonal booze comes in a spherical, gourd-shaped bottle. (Just think of the ‘Gram-able moments.)

Land O’Lakes Pumpkin Pie Spice Butter Spread

The folks over at Land O’Lakes are hoping to spice up your next slice of toast. And nothing gets shoppers more excited than the phrase "limited batch." Except, in this instance, a finite amount of pumpkin pie-flavored butter spread sounds like a victory to some, right?

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Photo Courtesy: @cocouponclub/Twitter

Think again. We may have judged this spread too quickly. A review for the butter spread on PopSugar quotes Instagram user junkbanter, calling it "a highly spreadable, magical concoction that tastes like pumpkin pie and whipped cream and butter and churros all in one." Sounds like a slice of heaven. Very basic heaven.

Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein: Pumpkin Spice

Ancient Nutrition’s Bone Broth Protein is all about promoting healthy skin, joints and immune systems. And, this season, it’s all about promoting fall flavor as well. This protein supplement promises a "taste of fall" with a "decadent pumpkin flavor and traditional fall spices in every serving of powder."

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Photo Courtesy: @SimmonsBart/Twitter

A writer at Dr. Axe Ancient Nutrition blog claims that this product can help you kick the morning Starbucks run. Instead, the post suggests making your own protein-packed PSL — using their pumpkin spice-flavored bone broth…

Pumpkin Spice Twinkies by Hostess

Not only are there a ton of pumpkin spice treats on the shelves every fall, but there are mountains of baked goods packed with this fall flavor. So no one can blame Hostess for jumping on the trend with their ever-popular — and ever-adaptable — Twinkies.

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Photo Courtesy: @smbartle/Twitter

"We couldn’t wait for Fall to get here, so we’re bringing Fall to you," Hostess wrote on Instagram. To join the pumpkin craze, Hostess stuffed the traditional golden sponge cake with a creamy pumpkin spice-flavored filling. And it’s a tasty mashup.

Not to mention, if any two things could survive an apocalypse, we’d put money on battle-hardened Twinkies and the undying pumpkin trend.

Adam's Pumpkin Spice Detail Spray

Holding steady at a 5-star rating on Adam’s website, the pumpkin spice detail spray promises to enhance the glossy shine of any automobile. Not to mention, it comes in a fun orange color and smells like a freshly-brewed PSL.

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Photo Courtesy: @Moparpalooza/Twitter

Since introducing the collection of sprays in 2015, Adam’s claims its marketing team’s favorite promotion has been for the Pumpkin Spice Detail Spray. One reviewer on the company’s website wrote, "I was so impressed, I ordered another gallon of pumpkin spice before it sold out." That’s true dedication.

Thomas’ Bagels & English Muffins

Half a dozen years ago, Thomas’ — a top name in English muffins — jumped on the pumpkin spice bandwagon. Luckily for the brand, the autumnal English muffins were a hit. One reviewer for Serious Eats noted that the muffins embrace the pumpkin taste "without tasting like seasonal potpourri."

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Photo Courtesy: @CandyHunting/Twitter

The same reviewer noted that the bagels — or pre-packaged rolls, really — were sufficient as well. The only downside? The reviewer didn’t like the bits of pureed pumpkin scattered throughout the bagel, as if to convince discerning diners that the pumpkin isn’t artificial.

Pumpkin & Spice Triscuits

Nabisco is no stranger to trying out new flavors. One of their best-selling brands, Oreo, seems to launch a different cream filling every week. It’s no surprise that the company would try this process with another beloved brand like Triscuit.

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Photo Courtesy: @DinosaurDracula/Twitter

Triscuits already come in a variety of flavors, but pumpkin and spice certainly seems like the most daring. While a sweet flavoring mixed with whole wheat crackers initially seems odd, this pumpkin-themed item has won buyers over. A writer on CookingLight even said, "Thank you, Triscuit, for making me, yet again, a pumpkin spice believer."

Nancy’s Petite Stuffed Bagels

Philadelphia makes a mean pumpkin spice cream cheese — and, as any New Yorker worth their bagels knows, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with whipping up a fun schmear flavor. What’s rough about this product from Nancy’s is just the combination of items.

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Photo Courtesy: @3snackateers/Twitter

This frozen delicacy features 16 pumpkin spice "bagels" — although they look more like the punched-out holes of bagels. These bread-knots are then stuffed with Philadelphia cream cheese blended with pumpkin puree. In short: It’s just a lot.

Pumpkin Pie in a Can Pringles

A few seasons ago, Pringles released a pumpkin pie spice flavor. The autumnal take on America’s favorite stackable chip was well-received by consumers. So, like all smart food sellers, Kellogg’s took it a step further, releasing a "no cooking required" Thanksgiving dinner set of Pringles.

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Photo Courtesy: @foodandwine/Twitter

That’s right — according to Pringles, more than just cranberries can come out of a can. After releasing eight Thanksgiving meal-themed chips in 2017, Pringles narrowed the fixings down to the most popular flavors the following year. When the limited-edition set of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie Pringles went on sale, they sold out online in less than an hour.

McDonald’s Pumpkin Spice Fries

According to McDonald’s, even French fries aren’t exempt from this autumnal trend. After experiencing a good deal of success in Japan with the McChoco Potato — French fries soaked in chocolate sauce — McDonald’s thought it would try and replicate that success.

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Photo Courtesy: @Eater/Twitter

Japan-based burger joints served up French fries drizzled in pumpkin and chocolate sauces. Dubbed the "Halloween McChoco Potato," the seasonal treat was used to promote McDonald’s 45th anniversary in Japan and remained on the menu from September through Halloween of 2016.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Deodorant by Native

Founded in San Francisco, Native is an online-based maker of deodorant, body wash and more. Best of all, Native is above using aluminum, parabens, sulfates or other harmful ingredients found in most commercial products. What are they not above using? The pumpkin trend.

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Photo Courtesy: @toomuchpumpkin/Twitter

Inspired by Starbucks’ PSL, this pumpkin spice deodorant hits the virtual shelves every season, offering users notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. If you’ve ever wanted to smell like your favorite coffee drink, act now.

Pumpkin Spice Waffles by Eggo

Forget about fighting over the wishbone on Thanksgiving day. Kellogg’s — mastermind behind some of America’s favorite breakfast brands — is giving consumers a new reason to say "L’Eggo my Eggo!" Shoppers agree that you’ll be fighting over the last, tasty bite of these pumpkin-themed waffles.

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Photo Courtesy: @amartinez7/Twitter

For several seasons, the master of breakfast foods has served up Eggo "Seasons," a.k.a. waffles flavored with pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. A reviewer on Brand Eating noted the waffles "are ideal for eating with maple syrup and whipped cream if you’re going for more of a pumpkin pie feel."

Blue Diamond Pumpkin Spice Almonds

No matter the season, almonds are always a great afternoon snack. This fall, you don’t have to choose between a savory snack and a sweet treat, thanks to Blue Diamond’s pumpkin spice-flavored almonds. Like other trendy almonds in Blue Diamond’s repertoire, these are lightly dusted in flavoring.

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Photo Courtesy: @18dMedia/Twitter

One reviewer on Amazon boasted "All I can say is, if you like pumpkin spice anything, you will love these. Couldn't put the can down!" That’s high praise from a real pumpkin acolyte. However, several other two-star reviews argue that the almonds just don’t pack enough pumpkin spice flavor.

Disney’s Pumpkin Spice Milkshake

No one loves to make a limited-edition product more than Disney. (The "Disney Vault," anyone?) And there’s no better way for Disney to capitalize on the pumpkin spice trend than by introducing a slew of festive, cutely-decorated foods in the snack stands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom Park.

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Photo Courtesy: @DisneyDigest1/Twitter

From the mouse-eared makers behind the popular pumpkin spice beignets and churros comes the pumpkin spice shake. Topped with whipped cream, candy-corn pumpkins and a Mickey-shaped marshmallow, this shake reportedly tastes just like "frozen pumpkin pie," according to a writer for Disney Food Blog.

Pumpkin Marshmallows by Dandies

Dandies is known for making "A Better Marshmallow." After all, the treats are all-natural (no corn syrup!) and vegan (no gelatin!). Now, they’re an even better "better marshmallow," thanks to the pumpkin trend.

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Photo Courtesy: @VegNews/Twitter

The pumpkin marshmallows have generally received positive reviews from shoppers. One reviewer on Amazon wrote, "I am not big on pumpkin spice flavors, but this is the exception." Not only are the marshmallows a fun snack, but they also make a wonderful hot chocolate accompaniment as well as a great addition to any baker’s repertoire.

M&M’s White Pumpkin Pie

From pretzel and caramel to the more adventurous Mexican jalapeno and Thai coconut, M&M’s has certainly gone down the path of "try anything and see if it tastes good." And, to capitalize on that mindset, a bunch of seasonal M&M flavors hit the shelves every fall.

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Photo Courtesy: @kellyleemiami/Twitter

Made with white chocolate, these pumpkin pie-flavored candies were lauded by PopSugar taste-testers in 2017. One reviewer even wrote, "Dang, these taste just like pie. Color me impressed." Although white pumpkin pie may be the most eye-catching, buyers can also taste pumpkin spice and candy apple flavors.

Various Fragrances, Soaps, Candles & More from Bath & Body Works

Move over "Hot Girl Summer." It’s time for "Basic Girl Fall," and no one knows this better than Bath & Body Works. The retail company will seemingly throw any scent at the wall to see if it sticks. Ever wanted your hand sanitizer to smell like pumpkin donuts? Check.

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Photo Courtesy: From top L to R: @itsurgirlnic/Twitter; @muyamablee/Twitter; @Lawson_TV/Twitter; @voudaux/Twitter

Some of Bath & Body Works more popular products include cinnamon pumpkin body scrubs and pumpkin spice hand soaps. Want your home to smell like a bakery? Try out the pumpkin pecan waffles candle. For the Starbucks lover who has everything, there’s even a marshmallow pumpkin latte fragrance mist on the shelves this year.

Brach’s Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn

Like pumpkin spice, candy corn is a love it or hate it item, but even if you find candy corn disgusting, there’s no denying that this "Satan’s ear wax" has become synonymous with Halloween. According to Candy Store’s annual survey, at least five states have proven it’s the most popular Halloween candy.

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Photo Courtesy: @UncleChaps/Twitter

What better way to rebrand candy corn than with pumpkin spice, right? Unfortunately, it didn’t work out as well as Brach’s hoped. One Amazon reviewer explained that "It tastes like they took the smell from a candle booth in a run down flea market and packed it into little candy corn textured candies." Okay, we’ll take trick — not treat.

Boar’s Head Pumpkin Pie Hummus

If it were just called "pumpkin hummus," this product might not seem so weird. There’s just something about the mental image of a dollop of whipped cream on hummus that we can’t quite shake. But Boar’s Head makes it clear: This is a dessert hummus.

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Photo Courtesy: @SheliNBC6/Twitter

According to the delicatessen brand’s site, the pumpkin pie dessert hummus is made from creamy chickpeas, real pumpkin, ground vanilla beans and vague "fall spices." The company’s senior director of marketing told FoodBev Media that the dessert hummus can be "smothered on a stack of pancakes, enjoyed as a dip with graham crackers or just relished straight off your spoon."

KFC’s Pumpkin & Feta Twister

KFC in Australia was looking for new and exciting ways to liven up their wraps — known as "Twisters" — in 2016. Combined with the fall season, this led to the creation of the Pumpkin & Feta Twister. This product joined the likes of more traditional wraps, such as the Chicken Caesar Twister and the BLT Twister.

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Photo Courtesy: @ChewBoom/Twitter

What’s in this warm tortilla, you ask? Along with grilled chicken and lettuce, you get a healthy dose of roasted pumpkin, crumbled feta and smoky chipotle mayo. As long as this Twister doesn’t go the route of the Double Down Dog, it sounds better than most fast food gimmicks.

Wrigley’s Extra Pumpkin Spice Chewing Gum

Yes, you can enjoy pumpkin spice for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert already, and thanks to the folks over at Wrigley’s, you can enjoy the seasonal flavor between meals as well. If you need a quick, inexpensive hit of pumpkin spice, look no further than this Extra brand chewing gum.

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Photo Courtesy: @JakeLeeFisher/Twitter

Although gum isn’t meant to last, buyers should still be aware of reviewers’ prevailing take on this Extra iteration. One reviewer, a self-proclaimed "pumpkin spice fanatic," encapsulated this popular opinion, writing, "all the flavor lasts for about one minute… it’s spot-on pumpkin spice, I just wish it lasted longer."

Pumpkin Spice Beard Oil by Backwoods Beard Company

Virginia-based Backwoods Beard Company is known for crafting handmade, high-quality grooming products. From pomade to mustache wax, the company offers everything a bearded person might need for a little self-care. Obviously, they couldn’t let the pumpkin trend pass them by either.

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Photo Courtesy: @BckwoodsBeardCo/Twitter

Backwoods Beard Company suggests you don’t dip "your ‘stache in a frothy latte," but instead indulge in their pumpkin spice beard oil. Featuring pumpkin seed oil as well as nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla essential oils, this autumnal beard oil allegedly captures the fragrance of warm pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Spice Cheerios

Cheerios are known for being heart-healthy, safe for babies to snack on and gentle and plain for your upset stomach. Now, they are basic in a whole new way. Although Pumpkin Spice Cheerios are a limited-edition product, General Mills insists this "pantry staple" packs "unlimited flavor."

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Photo Courtesy: @adage/Twitter

Made from real pumpkin puree and a healthy dose of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, this cereal makes a fun fall alternative to your standard Honey Nut Cheerios. A reviewer for Junk Banter wrote that they "opened the box, hoping the pumpkin would wallop me like a Glade plug-in." This wasn’t the case, unfortunately, but the writer admitted the cereal was still "loaded with pumpkin spices."

Greenies Pumpkin Spice Dental Dog Treats

Thanks to Greenies, even your canine companion won’t be able to escape the pumpkin spice trend this year. Greenies, which have become synonymous with a pup’s dental hygiene, makes various types of pet treats, including hard, toothbrush-shaped treats that help fight plaque build-up in dogs.

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Photo Courtesy: @JB_Gearhart/Twitter

And pumpkin spice flavor? The treats help your dog’s bad breath and puts them in the fall spirit. Afterward, you can take your dog along on those pumpkin patch visits — and you’ll both have winning (on brand) smiles for those Insta posts. #TooBlessedToBePumpkinSpiceStressed

Maine Root Pumpkin Pie Soda

Crafted in Portland, Maine, Maine Root soda is an organic soft drink line that prides itself on being fair trade certified and free of high fructose corn syrup. It also prides itself on being pumpkin pie-flavored — every month out of the year.

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Photo Courtesy: @LegendsShopping/Twitter

That’s right. Unlike most other products, which try to capitalize on the seasonal love for pumpkin, Maine Root bottles the "flavor of everyone’s favorite gourd-based dessert for your year-round enjoyment." Tasting a bit like a root beer, this soda has been faulted by Amazon reviewers for being a tad too sweet.

Dunkin’s Pumpkin Lip Balm

As Dunkin’ expands across the country to prove that more than just New England runs on their morning roast and donuts, the company is also diversifying its products. The brand has launched Dunkin’-themed pool floats, t-shirts and lip balms in hopes of capitalizing on their customers’ love.

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Photo Courtesy: @julianamazzatv/Twitter

This season, Dunkin’ is selling pumpkin-flavored lip balms — shaped and packaged like Munchkins, the brand’s beloved donut-hole treats. If you can’t get enough of the coffee seller’s pumpkin iced coffee or donuts, this pocket-sized alternative may prove handy.

Will Shortz Presents Pumpkin-Spice Sudoku

If you’re a fan of The New York Times crossword puzzles, you probably know the name of longtime crossword editor Will Shortz. This puzzlemaster also works with NPR and founded the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, now an annual tradition. Shortz is currently getting in on another annual tradition — pumpkin spice.

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Photo Courtesy: @bearzrnyce/Twitter

Featuring 200 puzzles, varying in difficulty, this definitive sudoku book compliments any Sunday morning PSL. You’re probably wondering how this book ties numerical brain-teasers and pumpkin spice together, right? Honestly, it’s unclear. By slapping an autumnal coffee drink on the cover, this book may be the most straightforward example of blatantly capitalizing on the pumpkin trend.