How do SJU students feel about the trendy seasonal flavor? 

Nothing screams fall more than changing leaves, hay rides, warm sweaters and… Pumpkins. Pumpkin spice looks like it is going to be the dominating flavor once again this fall. It appears with every bite another leaf falls and summer truly comes to an end. Pumpkin spice has not only tickled the taste buds but has also filled the air with wonderful smells.  From eating pumpkin pie in the fall, to pumpkin carving at halloween, the pumpkin craze has yet to be forgotten. The recent obsession has led people to want to indulge in the seasonal spice, which has forced food producers to experiment with the enticing and increasingly popular flavor. We picked out some of these products for SJU students to taste, in order to see how they really feel about the seasonal spice. It was a tough decision, however, as the shelves were fully stocked with pumpkin themed items. 

Here are just a few unusual pumpkin products that can be spotted at your local grocery store

Pumpkin Spice Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice cereal bars
Trader Joe’s pumpkin soup crackers
Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter
Land O Lakes pumpkin pie spice butter blend
Lucerne pumpkin spice whipped cream topping


Pumpkin Spice Cookies

A survey from the Daily Mail shows that 21% of people eat more than ten cookies per week, and 31% percent of the millennium generation say they prefer cookies over alcohol. Therefore, it would only seem right to try to experiment with flavors for the popular snack, including, you guessed it, pumpkin spice. The combination of cookies and pumpkin would be, in many eyes, an iconic food for this upcoming fall season. It is only a matter of time before the addicting flavor penetrates the annual Girl Scout cookie arrangements. Personally, I love the traditional chocolate chip cookie, so I am not sure if I am ready to change my preference to pumpkin spice cookies any time soon.

Pumpkin Spice Pop Tarts

In the all too familiar foil wrap hides the pumpkin pie spice flavored Pop-Tart. Pop Tarts are a vital breakfast food needed to get a fresh start for a busy day, especially as an overloaded college student. The popularity of pumpkin spice flavored Pop-Tarts has recurred every fall since their introduction to the market. The white icing and multi colored sprinkles covering the top of the tart adds to the unique pumpkin flavor. The ingredients list shows real pumpkin, ginger and nutmeg, which certainly adds a unique selling point as it eliminates the artificial flavoring, making it a healthier snack for Americans amongst their clean-eating craze. Many say that pop-tarts are better when they stray from artificial tasting flavors and head to more engaging natural varieties, like pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Tortilla Chips

Everyday, I try to resist the temptation of snacking on some crunchy, salty tortilla chips. The only possible way to deter my snacking habits would be to add a dash of pumpkin spice flavor to my favorite chips. The thought of this mixture, personally, does not arouse my taste buds whatsoever. For spice lovers, however, this could be the dangerous beckoning of a new snacking addiction. Trader Joe’s has taken tremendous pride in their newly released, pumpkin-tasting tortilla chips, describing the product as “delightfully pumpkin-ly and crunchy”. The product ingredient list features real pumpkin puree, pumpkin seeds, ginger, and nutmeg, adding only the most natural and subtle spices to the chip. They also claim that “if Autumn had a tortilla chip pageant, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Tortilla Chip would be wearing the sash of honor.”  These allegations may be due to the fact they are the only firm brave enough to release the unique item. There is only one way in which I would be convinced on trying this product, and that would be by smothering it in rich salsa. All personal opinions aside, there is obviously a large market for this product due to the sheer popularity of the “pumpkin-ly” taste.

The Verdict: Pumpkin Spice is Here to Stay

According to the Smithsonian, pumpkin-spiced products have increased by 234% since 2008 and it is believed that the catalyst to the pumpkin craze is all down to the Starbucks pumpkin-spice latte. The students we interviewed agreed that pumpkin spice might be a little overdone, but it gets people excited about the transition from summer to fall. Pumpkin spice, they shared, is a great way to feel festive about the season. At least we know pumpkin farmers are secure in the industry.

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