Fall Flavor Wars

Fall+Flavor+Wars

Pumpkin apple compressed
The pumpkin dominates fall flavor options.

As autumn marches steadily onwards, bright orange and red leaves continue to adorn the nearly bare trees. With talk of apple orchards, cider mills and the scent of fresh cinnamon sugar donuts filling the air, apples are unquestionably one of the most common symbols of fall. In fact, National Apple Month is celebrated in October as there are over 100 different varieties of apples grown in America.

Nevertheless, pumpkin is sneaking its way to the top as the most popular flavor for fall. Several different businesses have made the leap from the apple era to the pumpkin period.  A few years ago, the food industry introduced pumpkin-inspired drinks into the market. According to Bloomberg Business Week, in 2012 there were 105 pumpkin fall-themed limited-time offers while only 45 apple items introduced in 250 of the United States largest chains.

Starbucks is a prime example of a company that offers a plethora of pumpkin flavors including the pumpkin spice latte (PSL), pumpkin frappuccino, pumpkin scone, pumpkin cream cheese muffin, as well as pumpkin bread.

“I look forward to my PSL every Friday morning,” said Mackenzie Zierau. Many mercy students, like Zierau enjoy a before-school coffee run and the pumpkin flavors add a fall accent to their day.

The apple only appears on the menu in two measly places on Starbucks menu: the hot caramel apple spice drink and the apple fritter.  McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts and Tim Horton’s also make room on their fall menus for many pumpkin palate pleasers.

    “ I think pumpkin is a great fall flavor,” said Zierau. “Apple flavors are great, but I think think pumpkin overall just better represents fall.”

Frankly, pumpkin spice is everywhere; there are scented lotions, pop tarts, marshmallows, bagels and even Pringles potato chips that have “pumpkinized”. So as the leaves shrivel and become covered by snow, the pumpkin  flavors will transform quickly into peppermint, gingerbread and hot chocolate.