STORY BY JESSICA SPANGLER
Fall is rapidly approaching. For coffee enthusiasts, its approach means one thing: an array of pumpkin spice flavored drinks will once again arrive in cafes everywhere.
It doesn’t stop at pumpkin spice lattes, either. There are now pumpkin spice latte M&M’s — which I have never tried, but I’m curious if they’re up to par or not. Mini Wheats added a new pumpkin spice flavor to their collection. Krispy Kreme has created a pumpkin cheesecake doughnut. Red Robin has a seasonal spiced pumpkin pie shake.
The upward trend in companies creating fall-flavored foods (there are other flavors besides pumpkin, believe it or not) is an attempt to raise business sales in the autumn months. Companies also struggle to come up with creative spins on the classic pumpkin flavor, in order to stand out from the rest of the October-inspired crowd.
This is good for customers, especially since the craze for pumpkin and other fall related flavors doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. The competition creates an interesting variety that allows us to get as close to the taste of autumn as we can.
I can see why the trend is popular — pumpkin-flavored anything is usually amazing, and it reminds us that one of the best and brightest seasons is almost in full swing.
Pumpkin is a tradition around this time, just like how turkey is traditional around Thanksgiving and hot chocolate is a common beverage during winter. It’s expected for restaurants and coffee shops to add seasonal dishes or flavors to their menu, and it allows us as consumers to venture out and try new things.
While there are a wide variety of pumpkin-related products, sometimes businesses go too far with trying to incorporate the popular flavor into their menus.
For example, pumpkin spice margarine, pumpkin spice pasta, pumpkin pie Pringles and even pumpkin pie-flavored vodka can be found in grocery stores. Pumpkin is a great flavor, but it’s not for everything.
If you’re not a pumpkin fan, there are plenty of other options as well. Restaurants and companies have also included flavors such as apple spice, maple, cinnamon, and pecan to their fall menus in an attempt to switch it up a little.
However, pumpkin will always remain at the top of favorite fall tastes.
Coffee shops around Drake, such as Scooters and Mars Cafe, have added three new fall beverages to their menu: a pumpkin spice latte, a pumpkin spice chai and a pumpkin spice frappuccino. While I have yet to try any of them, I can guarantee that you’ll see me next week walking around campus with one in hand.
Don’t be hesitant about ordering a pumpkin spice latte just because of the stigmatism behind it. Let’s go back to the good old days when people weren’t teased because of their choice of drink. So walk around with your pumpkin beverage with pride and show everyone that you’re not ashamed to be labeled “basic.”
Whatever that means.