At some point while finishing up a pumpkin spice waffle and reaching for my cup of pumpkin spice coffee, I realized I had gone off the deep end. Alas, based on some recent reports, it seems like I am not alone in my dependency on all things pumpkin. USA Today, The New York Times, and other media outlets have picked up on the pumpkinpalooza that can be found in coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants, gas station kiosks, and beyond. From potato chips (yes, indeed) to vodka, Americans are engaged with the gourd…or are they?
Andrew Adam Newman of The New York Times manages to smash a few pumpkins of illusion with the following insight: “It may seem paradoxical, but pumpkin spice products often lack a pumpkin note, connoting instead spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove that are sold as the pumpkin pie blend in spice aisles.”
Pumpkin spice flavorings are available to food producers for their consideration so what “companies end up buying is not just a recipe, but a physical product as well.” So…it is up to us in the industry to see how far this goes. Anyone adventurous enough or misguided enough can become a potential pumpking product producer. Cheesemakers? Ready-made breakfast sandwich makers? Gum makers? Regardless of what is next, it is easy to see a growing dominance for pumpkin spice as the taste of the fall season.