You can’t run from it. It’s lurking in your latte, buried in your brioche, and now, even popping up in your Pringles. It’s a mysterious mix of spices, usually containing cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. Whether you like it or not, it’s as much associated with the season as leaves falling or apple cider brewing. If you haven’t guessed yet, it’s pumpkin spice.
Since Starbucks’ introduction of Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2003, this trendy little “taste of fall” has only grown in popularity. Though it contains not a single ounce of pumpkin, the stylish seasonal name stuck. Soon, the PSL (as fans call it) was a limited-time obsession akin to McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes. In 2016, Forbes estimated that Starbucks made $100 million in annual revenue purely from the PSL, and other companies have jumped on board, leading to a whole disturbing array of pumpkin-spice products. A search on Walmart.com for “Pumpkin Spice” turns up 765 results. Even Taste of Home‘s got six pages’ worth of pumpkin spice recipes (Pumpkin-Apple Streusel Muffins or Spiced Pumpkin doughnut bites, anyone?). In fact, it’s so popular that it can be hard to find a corner of the grocery store where pumpkin spice hasn’t reached its fall-tinged fingers. Without further ado, here are some of the weirdest incarnations.
Peeps—those sugar-coated marshmallow animals that come out of hibernation every spring in time for Easter—are making an off-season appearance in the holiday treat aisle. Dipped in white fudge up to their wings, they’re making an attempt to look and taste like fall. They’re marketed in packs of three for around $10, which means you’re paying roughly $3 for a single marshmallow concoction. Some people might be lining up to buy these, but ask who wants to try one and you won’t hear a peep out of me.
2. Country Crock Butter Spread, Pumpkin Spice Flavor
That’s right: This butter substitute now comes in a special spiced edition. We’re sure this spread would taste like heaven on a warm slice of bread, but our time-tested holiday pumpkin butter is probably the easier (and more natural) way to go.
While pumpkin pie and potato chips have nothing at all in common, we were surprised to see that reviews online actually rave about this sweet holiday flavor. If you’re a fan of Stacy’s Pita Chips in the cinnamon sugar variety, apparently these are the Pringles for you.
We’re wondering how long the flavor on these lasts. However long it is, though, one thing is certain: By the time you stop chewing, there will probably be even more pumpkin spice products for sale.
This one isn’t actually that weird to us. Imagine having a s’more that suits the season or a Rice Krispy treat that remains relevant! Heck, throw these in your Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole for an extra punch of cinnamon and sugar.
It’s your old favorite chocolate-covered candies with a seasonal twist: Now they’re only orange, green and brown… and they taste like pumpkin spice! It’s not a very strong flavor, but reviewers remarked that it was worth a try if you’re a fan of the classic candy. Bonus? You can find this one gracing the shelves of your local Target.
As if classic kettle corn wasn’t cool enough, the world decided that it needed to fall-ify the flavor. The result? A pumpkin spice popcorn that reportedly tastes mostly like cinnamon.
Would this be deliciously smooth or disgustingly overpowering? We’re not sure. All we know is, peanut butter makes everything better… so it can’t be that bad.
If the meat aisle has been penetrated, nothing is safe. Pumpkin spice will take over the grocery world. Pretty soon, we will be eating pumpkin spice sausages in pumpkin spice buns and drinking pumpkin spice water.
Nope. We weren’t kidding. This one raises many red flags. If there are no calories, then what is in this stuff? Clearly, no pumpkin. But more importantly, what does this taste like? If you try it, let us know.
If you can’t start your morning with the famous Starbucks PSL, eating it in your breakfast cereal is the next best thing.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get weirder, allow us to introduce you to cinnamon-and-pumpkin lasagna noodles, compliments of Rossi Pasta.
13. Pumpkin Spice Hummus
The company selling it, Cedar’s, claims that this is the first pumpkin spice hummus ever sold. It’s not really hard to imagine why. Garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) and cinnamon-pumpkin don’t mix too well in a dip… we recommend this creamy pumpkin cookie dip instead.
Call us crazy, but we love the salty crunch of a plain Triscuit way too much to risk this trendy flavor.
Imagine a chocolate chip, but instead of chocolate it’s pumpkin spice. With a weapon this powerful in your arsenal, you have the power to turn any cake or cookie into pumpkin spice!
With fall just around the corner, we’re not sure if we’re more excited or worried at trying these odd pumpkin-spiced treats. One thing’s for certain, though: Pumpkin spice is here to stay. We’d eat it in these homemade, delicious baking recipes before pumpkin-spicing our water, but hey! That’s just us.