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Pumpkin Flavors, Trendy or Overhyped?

Isabelle Gregg
Disneyland’s main street filled with sights and scents of pumpkin

For as long as I can remember, fall has been my favorite time of year. As a child, fall was a time of pumpkin patch visits, trick-or-treating, and crunchy orange fallen leaves. I remember the tastes and smells of pumpkin filling my kitchen, whether it be a candle burning on the counter or my mom baking pumpkin bread in the oven. For many, the smell and taste of pumpkins are nostalgic and bring back cozy fall memories from childhood. They remind individuals of the cherished moments spent with family and friends during the fall season. 

Shockingly, on pumpkin-spice-flavored products alone, Americans spend nearly $500 million yearly. But pumpkin flavors have not always been this popular. In the last five years, sales have increased by 47 percent, reaching a large fraction of American homes. This leaves many wondering, “Are pumpkin-flavored products trendy or just overhyped?”

Pumpkin-flavored products are very trendy, and they encapsulate that fall feeling.

— Emily Laterneau

Many find pumpkin-flavored products trendy because of how saturated they have become on social media. As soon as September begins, grocery stores, coffee shops, and bakeries are stocked with an abundance of pumpkin-flavored foods. Trader Joe’s, for example, is filled with pumpkin-spice cookies, ice cream, coffee creamer, cereal, and much more. Pumpkin spice lattes and other pumpkin-flavored coffees have also been increasingly popular in recent years. Emily Laternau (10) agrees, stating that “Pumpkin-flavored products are very trendy, and they encapsulate that fall feeling.”

Festive pumpkin spice flavors at Starbucks. (Starbucks)

The novelty of pumpkin-flavored products only being available during fall creates a sense of urgency for consumers from September through November. However, like all trends, some view pumpkin flavors as overrated and overhyped. Seasonal products and foods have caused the fall to become much more consumerism-based than in past generations; this is the same way in which expensive gifts and treats have taken over Christmas. 

Pumpkin flavors during fall have been a huge money-making tool for the majority of food-producing companies, one of them being Starbucks. Thousands of customers drive through or mobile order their favorite fall drinks each morning, many spending hundreds in a single fall month for these flavored drinks. 

Before the time of Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, early American colonists surprisingly still baked and enjoyed pumpkin pie and other pumpkin-flavored treats to celebrate fall. In 1621, colonists were introduced to pumpkins during a three-day harvest celebration with the Wampanoag neighboring Native American tribe. In the years following, pumpkin pie slowly became a Thanksgiving staple in American households. 

Overall, pumpkin flavors are neither trendy nor overhyped. Pumpkin-flavored products are timeless, and our ancestors have used pumpkins to flavor foods for centuries. Families now make it a tradition to bake pumpkin-flavored desserts, and so will future generations.  

Seasonal pumpkin flavored scones at Trader Joe’s. (Trader Joe’s)

Pumpkin is the most significant smell associated with fall, and it builds a bridge between our past, current, and future fall memories. A fall memory that Emily Laternau (10) still remembers is in Big Bear, as she and her sister would “Always go on this hill near [their] cabin and jump into a pile of fallen leaves. [They] would separate the red and orange and brown leaves and see who had the most.” Tastes and smells corresponding with seasons bring back sweet, nostalgic memories and help us connect with those around us.

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About the Contributor
Isabelle Gregg, Photojournalist
Isabelle is a sophomore at Yorba Linda High School. This is her first year in Newspaper and she can’t wait to start writing! On campus, Isabelle stays involved, whether it be through ASB or YLHS’s track team. In her free time, she loves listening to music, reading, going to the beach, and watching new movies. Isabelle’s dream school is UCLA, but she would be happy attending college at almost any university in California! She hopes to work as a therapist/psychologist, or as a business owner in the future. She is so excited to learn and grow in Newspaper and continue making high school memories!

Comments (8)

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  • J

    JourneyNov 30, 2023 at 7:46 AM

    This was a very nice articles that explained the significance of the pumpkin flavor well!

  • B

    BrendaNov 30, 2023 at 7:38 AM

    I love your take on pumpkin flavored items, it reminds me of fall.

  • L

    Lancy ShiNov 30, 2023 at 7:38 AM

    Fall isn’t the same without pumpkins! I love the overall vibe of your article and how you are able to honor the pumpkin scent with your descriptions.

  • D

    Derek TruongNov 30, 2023 at 7:37 AM

    I liked how you provided reasons to support both sides so that it is not too biased. I personally enjoy pumpkin flavors for the fall season!

  • L

    Leilah HuttnerNov 30, 2023 at 7:37 AM

    This was so great! Learning where the typical “trendy” pumpkin flavor came from was very interesting.

  • L

    liliNov 30, 2023 at 7:35 AM

    Great article Isabelle! I love pumpkin flavored food!

  • M

    Milo MartinsonNov 30, 2023 at 7:29 AM

    Certain pumpkin flavors are overhyped imo, but I agree that they encapsulate the fall feeling perfectly 🙂

  • B

    Brenda LuNov 16, 2023 at 7:42 AM

    I love all the pumpkin flavored items during fall.