California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Pumpkin spice and everything nice

Fall- the season of back to school, changing leaves and the pumpkin spice latte.

I am a huge fan of the pumpkin spice latte and its other pumpkin flavored friends. They let you know that school has begun and Halloween is coming.Plus they are delicious. Pumpkin butter, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin soup and pumpkin bars have all inhabited my pantry at one time or other. Now more than ever, pumpkin is defining the season of fall. Its delicious flavor can currently be found at multiple food locations such as grocery stores and coffee shops.

Trader Joeโ€™s now carries 71 pumpkin products according to employee Jim Clark.

โ€œEverybody likes pumpkin. It feels like fall. Consumers are literally eating it up,โ€ Clark said. Trader Joeโ€™s begins selling these specialty products the second week of September and continues until the products run out.

โ€œThe goal is to run out before Christmas,โ€ Clark said. With pumpkinโ€™s recent popularity, they are sure to sell most, if not all products by then.

Some of the more popular products at Trader Joeโ€™s are Pumpkin butter, which tastes like pumpkin pie in a jar, pumpkin cereal bars that taste like a pumpkin fig newton and even pumpkin cream cheese.

Jamba Juice and Starbucks also participate in fall themes. Jamba Juice sells a pumpkin smoothie around this time of year, which is actually more like pumpkin ice cream than anything else. The most popular pumpkin product of them all is Starbucksโ€™ pumpkin spice latte. This year will be the 11th season that they have carried it. Last year, for the 10th anniversary, they even sold commemorative mugs.

Even though I enjoy the pumpkin spice latte, I tend to avoid it. Shockingly, the beverage contains no actual pumpkin, only pumpkin spices. This would be acceptable if the drink was not a strange orange color. Where is the color coming from if not from real pumpkin?

โ€œIt feels like a real pumpkin to me,โ€ said Jacob Burman, a pumpkin spice fan and senior at Cal Lutheran. โ€œI always liked pumpkin pie so I was really down.โ€

Not all students, however, love the pumpkin product explosion so much.

โ€œTo me it all tastes the same. Just gross,โ€ said Rebecca Haas, a senior at Cal Lutheran. For her, these pumpkin products are just overkill.

Despite individuals who dislike the products, pumpkin popularity is growing. Each year, more and more pumpkin products are sold and released in stores.

โ€œLast year we were in the 50 range, this year weโ€™re at 70,โ€ Clark said.

I am all for the seasonal squash. As I type this article I have been eating waffles with pumpkin butter from Trader Joeโ€™s. They are a festive dessert made of a breakfast staple and pumpkin pie jam, which I highly recommend.

As these products grow in quantity, you have to wonder if there will ever be a limit. Surely there are foods that simply cannot match the pumpkin craze.

For some students, the limit already exists.

โ€œI definitely see it more all over the place than I would like,โ€ Haas said. For her, the limit of pumpkin items was reached long ago.

Though pumpkin cannot go with everything, companies have done a fantastic job of commercializing it. It will remain an important part of the fall season for years to come, just like the pumpkin spice latte has done for the past 11 years.


Allie Leslie


Published September 24, 2014

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