Fall is definitely the initial tumble into the never-ending season of frivolous spending, and we all know the culprit: pumpkin spice. 

Infamously known thanks to pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. In 2020, you could throw this spice mix on literally anything and with some good branding us consumers would purchase it in a heartbeat.  

Personally, I love pumpkin spice. Going to school out of state has definitely expanded my appreciation for the season. 

A slice of warm pumpkin bread and some coffee does bring that homey, fall feeling that eases any bout of homesickness. And of course, the occasional pumpkin-flavored treat is a fun delicacy. Here’s the catch: I am only a pumpkin spice connoisseur to an extent.

Many would strongly disagree, but I think this fall food frenzy has gotten aggressively out of control. At almost every grocery store, food brands have come up with their own pumpkin flavor-transformation of popular products to have on shelves for those tempted. Trader Joe’s being a prime example. 

Trader Joe’s is already known for its genius, trendy marketing, but in the fall this store takes it to an entirely different level. 

Shopping at Trader Joe’s during this season a fall-flavored item will be in sight at every moment of your grocery trip, tempting you with its cute autumnal packaging. Frankly, I feel like it is almost impossible to leave without at least one of these items in your cart. 

To begin, this seasonal collection is massive. But each year the products accumulate as even more new fall items are brought into the mix. How this ever-expanding collection fits in this tiny market is an enigma that constantly runs through my brain.

This year Trader Joe’s has introduced pumpkin brioche, pumpkin spice pretzel thins, pumpkin empanadas, pumpkin curry simmer sauce, a turkey pumpkin burrito and countless more of the flavor. For those looking to spice up their post workout beverage, yes, Trader Joe’s offers a pumpkin spice flavored protein shake. 

Even now with how prominent social media is, these foods are bound to show up on your recommended feed or in an advertisement at some point this season.

Trader Joe’s fanatics have even dedicated their time to running social media accounts where new finds and fall hauls are posted and updated regularly. With the fan base that has been created for this grocery store it’s almost guaranteed you will never miss a new store release. 

This never-ending frenzy is undeniably a result of consumerism. Yes, I too am guilty of picking up far too many of these goodies. It is extremely difficult to not spiral when you see so many different options within your grasp and the thought in the back of your mind that you have a limited time to taste-test. But do we really need pumpkin spice in our breakfast, lunch and dinner during this season? 

Treat yourself to a few of your pumpkin-spiced favorites, but don’t let the craze damage your wallet. You will definitely appreciate that extra cash while shopping for holiday presents as the winter commences. Maybe it’s best to keep that fresh pumpkin pie the star of the show, we all know it deserves it.

Natalie Rieth is an arts & entertainment editor. Follow her on Twitter: @natalie_rieth.

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