With the Arrival of October and Autumn, Here Are Some of the Worst Pumpkin Spice Products Released

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

As the leaves change and the air becomes crisp, there is also a scourge with Fall; the onslaught of pumpkin spice products has arrived.

It seems to crop up earlier and earlier each year. You innocently go shopping and suddenly are confronted with the unwelcome arrival of an impending holiday with the presentation of products at a moment far-too-early for acceptance. No, it is not the Christmas displays you see while looking for summer pool items — I am referring to the shelves becoming clogged with the Autumnal varieties of pumpkin and herb-infused products. October 1 is the official Pumpkin Spice Day, so we are currently in full curse mode.


This is something that has exploded in recent years, springing out of that laboratory of upper-middle class consumerism, Starbucks. After they began introducing pumpkin-spiced lattes in the early 2000s, the annual arrival became a social media event, and then an ever-increasing number of companies decided to get in on the action. It is an industry that generates hundreds of millions of dollars annually. (Starbucks accounts for about 20 percent of that figure alone.)

So with the corporate stampede through the piles of leaves, you can be sure there are some offerings that need not be sampled. Does anyone need pumpkin spice Cheerios? Or, for that matter, other items like Twinkies or yogurt? At least those make a little bit of sense, as some standard products are tweaked with a different flavoring. As for other decisions, let’s just say somebody probably should have stepped in and put a stop to some of these items going to market.


Hey, the letter “S” stands for “Spiced,” so…

I am sorry, but even those with a fondness for the congealed canned meat product have to allow that there is no way pumpkin spice SPAM can be seen as an improvement. It was a brief offering available online and sold out rapidly. Some may argue that holiday hams have similar treatments, like cinnamon and cloves, so why not this? Because you have access to a holiday ham. Case closed.


Keeping it Kosher


Seeing the challenge of barely edible meat products adorned with the holiday flavor, the people of Manischewitz said, “Hold my pumpkin ale!” The company has developed a version of its gefilte fish with the fall flavors, and I’m sorry, but this goy will have to pass, even if it has the traditional jelled broth. (shudder)


Can’t we have one thing without this curse?

If you are at a level where you need pumpkin spice in any and all things consumed I’m not sure you can be helped. At the same time, I’m not sure how a PS salad will help in any way, but there are those in industries who apparently think it will.


The moon IS a Halloween fixture

Pumpkin beers are all around the place right now. This at least follows some logic, because the early settlers actually were making beer in the original colonies with the local gourds, as one of the few things they could find in the new land. But of course, as this trend became popular, it has led to an explosion in the last decade of all types of labels releasing their own pumpkin beers. However…moonshine is not something that needed to be created. The suburban winebox moms who flock to Starbucks are unlikely to be lured into sampling some corn squeezins dressed up with their favorite flavor.



Getting the dogs in on it as well

This is one that is both entirely stupid, and yet makes perfect sense. There is absolutely ZERO reason to make up a flavored dog treat with your preferred holiday flavor. None. But those who are most enthralled with the holiday spice are likely to treat their dogs like family, and thus an impulse buy is inevitable. Dog food companies will tell you that they create dog foods and treats not for the animals, but for their owners. This fits right into that marketing.


Now you can smell like a barista

Look, this is supposed to be a seasonal flavor. Flavor! But when you see all manner of things like candles, air fresheners, potpourri, and other scented whatever being brought to stores it is probably expected that some might want to go to the next level entirely so that they can have the aroma. So, of course, a pumpkin spice deodorant has to happen.


Okay, on second thought

They have been offering up pumpkin spice beard oil for some time now, but upon further introspection, I am coming around on this one. For many women a full-face bloom is unappealing, so I can see where an unattached and unshorn guy would want a fighting chance at attracting a fair lass by having her favorite flavor wafting from his whiskers.




Hey, people work out in the Autumn months. They also need to drink protein shakes at this time of year. Soooooo…


This will NOT fool her

It used to be that colored diamonds were not seen as valuable. Then the diamond merchants started to rebrand the toss-away stones so that low-grade brown gems became “Chocolate diamonds.” Now those guys with lower budgets can try this trick; maybe — just maybe — she won’t think you cannot afford the real thing if you get a pumpkin spice engagement ring.


The one product that makes sense

Look, as a guy, almost none of this faux Fall marketing gimmickry has any appeal to me. Frankly, you could round up all of these products and drop them right in the trash bin and I would not miss them. Thankfully, there is something to help with this challenge. The Hefty pumpkin spice garbage bag is the PERFECT receptacle for all of this asininity.




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