We tasted every pumpkin spice product we could find — here’s the definitive ranking

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Hollis Johnson

October 26 is National Pumpkin Day. So what better day to consume copious amounts of orange-colored “pumpkin”-flavored foods and drinks?

From breakfast cereals to favorite candies, the flavor is everywhere. But is any of it good?

We tasted all the pumpkin-spice products we could find at Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, CVS, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Panera Bread to find out.

Here’s our ranking of the 35 pumpkin-spice products we tasted:

Marina Nazario bravely contributed reporting on a previous version of this article.


35. Trader Joe’s pecan pumpkin instant oatmeal

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The texture of the oatmeal combined with a weak flavor makes for a watery disappointment.


34. Pumpkin-spice candy corn

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Incredibly gross. We couldn’t discern any “pumpkin spice” flavoring, just straight sugar – unsurprising, considering it’s candy corn.


33. Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin-N-Spice trail-mix granola bar

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This granola bar lacks the taste of pumpkin spice. It’s essentially sugar-coated pumpkin seeds clumped together with trail mix.


32. Trader Joe’s country pumpkin spice granola cereal

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The actual granola is fine, but the dried pumpkin bits thrown in for taste don’t work.


31. Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax crunchy granola bars

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This granola bar lacks the taste of pumpkin spice. It’s essentially sugar-coated pumpkin seeds clumped together with trail mix.


30. Pumpkin bagel from Panera

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The bread doesn’t taste much like pumpkin, and it has a rather bland taste. The sugary frosting is the source of the cinnamon flavor, but we’re unimpressed.


29. Dancing Deer pumpkin-spice shortbread cookies

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Though pumpkin-shaped, this product lacks the pumpkin flavor and tastes like a sugar cookie.


28. Entenmann’s pumpkin donut holes

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These may have the appearance of being pumpkin-spice flavored, but it simply tastes like a glazed doughnut – a weird, orange-colored doughnut.


27. Trader Joe’s “This Pumpkin Walks into a … Cereal Bar”

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The filling tastes more like apple flavor than pumpkin. The bread of the bar contains the spice, so it ends up tasting like cinnamon apple.


26. Keebler Fudge Stripes pumpkin-spice cookies

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We didn’t taste the pumpkin-spice flavor in this product, but it does have a seasonal taste comparable to a ginger-snap cookie.


25. Trader Joe’s organic frosted pumpkin toaster pastries

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This is comparable to the cinnamon-flavored Pop-Tart. It’s OK, but the pumpkin flavor is absent.


24. Pumpkin spice Peeps

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We had varying reactions to this product. Some thought it captured the pumpkin-spice flavor accurately, while others thought it tasted like a regular sugar-coated Peep. Regardless, you can’t deny the amount of pure sugar.


23. Kellogg’s pumpkin spice Frosted Mini-Wheats

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We could taste only the most subtle hint of pumpkin-spice flavoring in this cereal. Otherwise, it tastes like the original Frosted Mini-Wheats.


22. Siggi’s pumpkin spice low-fat yogurt

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This product is sour and bitter, which takes away from the pumpkin flavor – making it an interesting combination. We don’t think the flavor works well with the product, but it’s not terrible.


21. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Macarons

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The consistency of this product is messy and contains a thick, pumpkin purée filling that takes over the delicacy of what a macaron should be like.


20. Nestle’s Toll House Pumpkin Spice Morsels

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First bite – the taste is OK. But it has a suspicious aftertaste. This product has a strong pumpkin flavor that could be a tasty addition to a cookie.


19. Pumpkin spice latte M&Ms

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The flavor of this traditional candy stumped us until we realized that it contains a coffee taste and ultimately lacks a pumpkin flavor.


18. Hershey’s pumpkin spice Kisses

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Wow, these have a blast of pumpkin flavor! But the candy’s cream filling tastes too artificial.


17. Hostess pumpkin spice Twinkies

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This is a very sugary treat, but it does capture the pumpkin spice flavor nicely. One taster reported liking it better than a classic Twinkie! At least the spice flavors mask the sickly sugar filling.


16. Trader Joe’s pumpkin biscotti

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While we expected this product to taste like a ginger-snap cookie, it did have a hint of pumpkin flavoring that went well with the cookie.


15. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin-O’s

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This cereal is delightful. It’s not too sweet, and it captures a pleasant pumpkin flavor that’s suitable for a relaxed autumn breakfast.


14. Pumpkin-spice tea from The Republic of Tea

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This hot drink smells like apple cider but has a light pumpkin taste. The flavor isn’t strong, but it’s enjoyable to sip on.


13. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Rooibos tea

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This tea has a savory, thick pumpkin-spice flavor that is comforting and gratifying. In our opinion, it’s better than the previous tea.


12. Dunkin’ Donuts pumpkin-spice donut

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Now this tastes like a pumpkin-spice doughnut! Artificial flavoring or not, it tastes great.


11. Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice chai tea latte mix

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With the pumpkin-spice aromas of it filling the air, it also perfectly captures the pumpkin-spice taste and goes well with the light spiciness of chai.


10. Pumpkin-spice almond milk

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The orange coloring threw us off at first, but this tastes like egg nog with a hint of pumpkin. Our reaction: It could be worse.


9. Pumpkin-spice Oreos

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The texture and coloring of the actual Oreo is off-putting, but it tastes like a simple sugar-infused Oreo with weak pumpkin flavor. Also, why didn’t they just stick with a chocolate cookie?


8. Pumpkin-pie bark

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This is our favorite pumpkin-flavored chocolate! Not too rich and not too sweet. It begins with a rich chocolate taste and slowly transitions to light pumpkin flavors.


7. Noosa pumpkin-flavor yogurt

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The pumpkin flavor is subtle yet sweet, creating a simple blend that goes well with the product. Also, decidedly less sour than most Greek-style yogurts.


6. Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter

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With only a handful of ingredients, we almost thought it was healthy – until we tasted it. How can something so good be healthy? It’s naturally sweet and offers a unique pumpkin-spice flavor that we couldn’t get enough of.


5. Chobani pumpkin spice Greek yogurt

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Hollis Johnson

We preferred this the most of the yogurts we tried. The texture of the yogurt blends well with the flavors, and it’s not too sweet, leaving room for the pumpkin flavor to come through.


4. Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice cookie butter

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Hollis Johnson

This is amazing. It has the consistency of peanut butter but with a delicious pumpkin taste. It is well-balanced, and the cookie aspect adds an incredible richness.


3. Trader Joe’s pumpkin panettone

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Yum! This fluffy Italian bread has creamy pumpkin flavors with hints of spice nestled within that creates a sensational taste experience. It’s light and sweet – nothing sickly sugary.


2. Trader Joe’s pumpkin-y pumpkin bites

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These are delicious! Think of a pumpkin-flavored brownie with a rich flavor and gooey texture. Trader Joe’s definitely got these right.


1. Trader Joe’s pumpkin ice cream

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Everything about this is phenomenal. Our winner by a landslide! Not because it’s ice cream, but because the flavors actually blend well together – creating the perfect pumpkin-spice-flavored product. The pumpkin flavor is fresh and bright, and the spicing is subtle.