There are a few events that ring in the fall season every September.
Kids start going back to school five days a week, commuters experience their first crisp morning, and leaves begin to don their glowing hues.
Oh yeah, and Starbucks releases of the Pumpkin Spice Latte—earlier every year.
This year, the PSL was officially available to devoted fans of the sugary fall treat on August 27th, preceding the 2018 release by just one day.
Don't get me wrong, I am not one of the Pumpkin Spice haters at all. I actually like Pumpkin Spice season because it means that all of my favorite companies are going to get into the trend and I will start to see new Pumpkin Spice products on the shelves. And since I'm not a killjoy, I will certainly try some of them! This trend is a wonderful, warm way to welcome the fall season as early as you please, thank you very much.
However, not all glitters in the hues of Pumpkin Spiced is gold.
Over the years, I have seen some strange iterations of "limited edition" products, but Pumpkin Spice season has brought on some of the most peculiar contestants yet. If you've ever walked down the aisles of the grocery store and stopped dead in your tracks just to say "why does this exist", you know exactly what I mean when I say these are the products that make Pumpkin Spice season the time of year that I question the wellbeing of marketing teams around the country.
Since 2003, Starbucks has decided the exact moment that fall begins by serving the first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. While it makes sense that one of the largest coffee chains in the world reigns as the Pumpkin Spice Queen, some products that hit shelves after that first cup of PSL follow a different line of logic.
While I never said it was a bad line of logic, I can't say that I will be purchasing Pumpkin Spice latte mix for my dogs anytime soon. I suppose this is a way to include man's best friend in what is slowly becoming a new tradition, but I just don't understand what this company was thinking when they began to develop this pooch-friendly mix. I mean, how does a dog drink this anyway? Does he use a mug or a bowl? Is it hot or iced? Whip or no whip? Room for cream?
Pumpkin spice toothpaste
9 out of 10 dentists agree that it is a good thing this toothpaste doesn't exist...because it's disgusting.
For every trend that gains an overwhelming near-cult following, there is an equal and opposite near-cult that dedicates its time to making fun of said trend. Pumpkin Spice is no exception.
Unfortunately, that means we innocent bystanders that have no place in either group are faced with the thought of disgusting products such as this one coming to life. Some of these are far-fetched, but it would not be too surprising if companies catch on and decide to jump on the bandwagon in a few years.
Science is a dangerous thing, my friends. Enjoy the fact that this does not exist while you still can.
Pumpkin Spice Chicken Sausages
This is precisely what I mean when I say that science is a dangerous thing.
While many sweet and savory combinations have proven to be unexpectedly delicious over the years, I cannot seem to wrap my mind around this one. The only thing that I can think about when I see these vacuum-sealed links of chicken and Pumpkin Spice is an odd scene in which a hearty fall dinner is thrown into a blender, dessert and all, and formed into tubes. From there it hits shelves and things get too real.
I suppose the upside is that you will no longer have to choose between a Pumpkin Spice Latte and a hot plate of sausages for breakfast. Now you can have both (if you can stomach the aforementioned image).
Pumpkin Spice Dog Treats
So maybe my previous question about how Fido would go about enjoying a PSL is a moot point because Greenies has found a way around it.
While this is not quite as strange of an idea as an actual doggy latte, I still can't quite understand what would lead someone to say"hey, you know what would be a good idea? Pumpkin Spice dog treats" in a typical pitch meeting. Maybe somebody was really thinking outside of the treat box that day, maybe they were still recovering from the caffeine-overload of that morning's venti PSL.
Maybe I just don't understand marketing.
Pumpkin Spice Kale Chips
So the pumpkin spice trend and the kale trend walk into a bar...and chaos was born.
Seriously, who thought it was a good idea to dry out some hearty, leafy greens and sprinkle a little Pumpkin Spice on them? I get that they may have been going for a demographic that wants to eat healthily, but also wants to enjoy the festive treats of their favorite season, but I am not entirely sure this was the way to go. Maybe Pumpkin Spice glazed carrots or pumpkin spice beet chips. Perhaps a squeeze-pouch of Pumpkin Spice pumpkin puree even?
But what does a basic millennial English major know about marketing?
Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles
Like most people, I have eaten many cans of Pringles in my lifetime and have my personal favorites (it's a tie between Sour Cream & Onion and Salt & Vinegar).
Despite the many empty cans of potato chips (yes, Pringles are technically chips) rolling around in my memories, I do not recall even once thinking "I would love some Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles." Maybe I have a strong misunderstanding of how things work in the world of product development, but I thought the point of creating a new product was to bring the people what they want.
As I look on this bright orange cylinder of questionable decisions, I must ask: who wanted this and do you need a hug?
Pumpkin Spiced Rum
Unlike most of the products on the list, I can almost understand how this product came to be.
Think about it: Pumpkin Spice already rolls off of the tongue very nicely. Pumpkin Spiced Rum is just a clever play on words that makes it nearly impossible to deny this drink its chance to prove itself in the world.
Wordplay aside, it's still a little out there.
Pumpkin Spice Bear Oil
So maybe Pumpkin Spice isn't just for basic white girls after all!
As a person that does not and will (hopefully) never have a beard, I suppose I can't completely claim that this product is lacking a line of justification. But, as any good college student knows, it never hurts to do a little research when you want to back up your claims. A quick Google search revealed to me that beard oil is used as a moisturizer as well as a remedy for beard itch and "beardruff".
Add the fact that you will also smell like the inside of a Starbucks in late August and it still sounds like a ploy to lure "basic white girls" to you and your beard. Hey, if it works, it works, right?
Pumpkin Spice Hummus
I must confess that I have tried, and thoroughly enjoyed, chocolate dessert hummus. However, I'm not sure I can bring myself to try Pumpkin Spice hummus.
Much like the Pumpkin Spice kale chips, I feel as if this product is the result of a company trying to smash two uber-trends into one monster trend in a Frankenstein-esque search for power.
Much like our old friend Victor Frankenstein, I believe this may be something that becomes a strong regret as the people revolt at the hideous nature of this wild creation. We are, after all, conditioned to hate and destroy things that are different.
Pumpkin Spice Spam
I believe it's safe to say that nobody wanted this product.
Nevertheless, this joke gone wrong is expected to hit shelves this fall. For those of you with strong stomachs and an even stronger sense of adventure, I wish you the best of luck. Neither love nor money could convince me to try any form of Spam.