A plethora of pumpkin
Pumpkin spice and everything nice
The herald of fall, the pumpkin, has in recent years inspired more than just pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, carved jack-o-lanterns at Halloween and baked seeds at ball games.
Pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin chips, pumpkin waffle candles, pumpkin flavored dog food and even a pumpkin scented pen can all be found on store shelves, in local shops or online if one is dedicated to the flavor.
“It’s definitely pumpkin season for sure,” said Rossi Pasta Sales Clerk Sophia Lesher. “We’re selling a lot of it already…pumpkin cheese balls, pumpkin pasta and pancake mix.”
But pumpkins don’t generally have much of their own flavor. The “spice” of pumpkin spice flavored drinks and other treats actually comes from a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove or allspice.
The Neilson Company research of this year’s consumer trends on the flavor show continued growth as toothpastes, toilet paper, cosmetics and breakfast foods hop on the bandwagon.
“Despite the seemingly endless applications for pumpkin, however, a select 10 product categories account for 87 percent of all pumpkin-flavored product sales,” said the company’s report released Oct. 2.
The report shows that by the end of July pumpkin flavored consumer goods had reached $400 million in sales this year, with the traditional pie filling followed in sales first by coffee creamer with the flavor, then dog food.
Then comes coffee, baked bread, ready to eat cereal, baking mixes, liquid coffee, yogurt and fresh desserts.
Dad’s Primitive Workbench owner Charlie Clay said it’s his favorite season because of pumpkins.
“I could have pumpkin all year,” he said, laughing. “We had pumpkin candies and they sold out in three days. I had a pumpkin spice muffin at Tim Horton’s that was delicious…we celebrate pumpkins for sure.”
Scented candles, lotions and soaps and decor featuring pumpkins adorn not only Clay’s store but also the windows of American Flags and Poles. Then at Jeremiah’s Coffee House pumpkin spiced lattes can be ordered. Pumpkin ravioli at The Galley is available, as is dessert from Lisa’s Sweet Stop in Beverly in the form of pumpkin cheesecake or pumpkin nut muffins.
Megan Albertson, 23, of Williamstown, said while she’s not a big pumpkin flavor fan, she’s been overloaded on Snapchat, a photo-based social media app, with pictures and videos from friends celebrating their pumpkin spiced lattes.
“And my mom has pumpkin candles all over the place,” she said. “I know people who make pumpkin flower arrangements with pumpkins or cut them out and put mums in them too.”
When Melissa Rohrer, 59, of Marietta smelled a pumpkin waffle scented candle at Walmart she said it made her hungry.
“There’s even chapstick and hand lotion,” she said laughing. “I don’t go after it myself, it’s not a craze for me… and pumpkin soda pop is probably going too far.”
But pumpkin flavored seasonal beers are popular items on shelves this season too.
And Carol Schmedes, 68, of Marietta, said if the flavor has made its way into cat food she wouldn’t be surprised.
“My cat’s just too stubborn to try something like that but I’m sure others would like it,” she said.