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A Deep Dive into the World of Pumpkin Spice

A quick search on Google for “pumpkin spice” yields around 353 million results in 0.62 seconds. Curiosity on how one flavor could have such a chokehold on millennials and Gen Zer’s across the nation led me on a deep delve into the lore of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL for short. Although Starbucks seems to have a clear claim to the creation of the PSL, many other companies have hopped on the pumpkin-flavored bandwagon. Over the past few years, we have seen more and more pumpkin spice-flavored items pop up in stores across the country, such as coffee grounds, teas and coffee creamers.  

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Pumpkin Spice Latte since Starbucks introduced it in 2003. In that time, pumpkin spice’s presence in our society has evolved greatly in the last 20 years and the spices of pumpkin are no longer limited to beverage flavoring. For example, did you know that there is an X (formerly known as Twitter) account called Pumpkin Spice Latte (@therealpsl) personifying the PSL? More recently in 2022, Merriam Webster added “pumpkin spice” to the dictionary. 

Driven by intense curiosity, I decided to set out on a quest to find the weirdest pumpkin spice products I could. Having seen several pictures of obscure pumpkin spice items (pumpkin spice cat litter, anyone?), I wanted to verify the existence of these products myself. As someone who does not like pumpkin spice, I am clearly very qualified to be evaluating the strangeness of the pumpkin spice paraphernalia. Pumpkin spice flavored K-cups or hot cocoa does not seem that out-of-the-ordinary anymore, so what else does the internet have to offer? How many ways has society found to consume this blend of pumpkin pie spices, or perhaps not even consume but rather smell? After a deep dive into the internet, these are the weirdest things I could find that you can order online, ranging from “semi-understandable” to “why would you even consider that as an option?” 

Edible Pumpkin Spice Products 

  1. Pumpkin Spice Goldfish – The weirdest thing about this product is that it is a collaboration with Dunkin Donuts. 
  2. Pumpkin Spice Jello Shot Mix – I cannot decide whether this makes sense or not. A cream-based Jello shot just sounds nauseating.  
  3. Kraft Pumpkin Spice Mac and Cheese – Granted, this product is not for sale, nor will it be. To become one of the privileged few to try the pumpkin spice pasta, you will need to enter a raffle. That being said, perhaps mac and cheese is where the line should be drawn.  
  4. Pumpkin Spice Cane Sugar – This flavored sugar may be the item on this list that I hold the least desire for, but perhaps it could be fun mixing sugar into baked goods or drinks and seeing the result.  
  5. Kellogg’s Special K Pumpkin Spice Cold Breakfast Cereal – While I do not hate the idea of flavored cereal, one walk down the cereal aisle in Walmart reveals just how far creativity and innovation can be pushed.  
  6. Pumpkin Spice Twinkies – Besides being a home for Hal the cockroach in “Wall-E”, what else are Twinkies good for?   
  7. Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chips – Why would you not just add chocolate chips to a dough that has been flavored with the spices of pumpkin? 
  8. Pumpkin Spice Cream Liqueur – This could either be really good or really bad. You also only have two months to drink it before it sits around for another year.  

Inedible Pumpkin Spice Products 

  1. Pumpkin Spice Latte Body Wash – This product is the first one to specify that it is not just pumpkin spice, it is pumpkin spice latte. Now you too can smell like an overpriced coffee.  
  2. Spiced Pumpkin Body Spray – I will give this one a pass, because this sounds like a win for all my scent girlies out there.  
  3. Pumpkin Spice Latte Deodorant – Sorry, I only trust deodorants that are scented like flowers or abstract concepts (like fresh laundry or green meadows).   
  4. Pumpkin Spice Things Up Glade Room Spray – I think this could add a nice ambience to a room. The only reason this product is on the list is because the name is so cheesy.  
  5. Pumpkin Spice Trash Bags – The box has a scratch-and-sniff sticker on it, which appeals to my inner 5-year-old. Perhaps the scent of the trash bags would mix nicely with the smell of fresh pumpkin when I carve a Jack-O-Lantern. 
  6. Pumpkin Spice Dog Treats – Now your perfect pooch can also enjoy the existential crisis that accompanies a pumpkin spice-flavored toothbrush.  
  7. Pumpkin Spice Kitty Litter – When I saw this on Instagram, I hoped and prayed it was a joke. Unfortunately, it is not. Why would you want your cat’s litterbox to smell like food? 
  8. Pumpkin Spice Toilet Spray – This snazzy product offers you a way to twin with your cat’s pumpkin-spice kitty litter! Let the warm, seasonal aroma completely engulf your bathroom.  
  9. Pumpkin Spice Flushable Wipes – I really think the absurdity of this product speaks for itself, but it is important to note that it has 4.8 stars on Amazon. 
Sara Gushue
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