Dunkin Donuts, Pumpkin Spice

Courtesy Dunkin Donuts

It's official: America might need to find a new fall obsession.

Yes, this is a very controversial statement. America loves fall. America lives for fall. Its citizens spend the entirety of August pretending that they are sad for summer to end, and the entirety of September converting every aspect of life to one filled with gourds and foliage and cozy sweaters despite the still-sweltering temperatures. And, most importantly, that tradition has always included pumpkin spice.

It started as simply the PSL. The denizens of fall would flock to Starbucks in droves to get a taste of that faux-seasoning. Coffee wasn't coffee unless it was a Pumpkin Spice Latte. But then other brands started following suit, and pumpkin invaded...everything. It wasn't just in coffee, and it wasn't just at Starbucks. And now it's not just during the fall. 

That's because, in a quest for pumpkin spice domination, coffee shops are now in a race to be the first to serve the PSL. Starbucks generally releases the iconic flavor at the beginning of September, which is why McDonald's tried to jump the gun by announcing that not only would they be trying their hand at pumpkin, but they'd be rolling it out in August. We didn't give that much weight, since Mickey D's isn't exactly a bastion of fall (or coffee) culture. But now the competition is really heating up, and we're wondering what it means for society.

That's because not only is Dunkin' Donuts going to be rolling out a robust line of pumpkin, but they've already put the flavor in stores. Yes, select stores across the country are already selling PSLs—and by August 29, the full collection will hit. That includes not only the coffee drinks, but pumpkin spice glazed donuts, pumpkin spice munchkins, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin K-cup packs. They're also offering a salted caramel creation, but that's simply a fall hanger-on.

Is our nation ready to accept this new onslaught of PSLs while we're still enjoying beach season? Will we flock to coffee shops to spice up our mornings while we're in shorts T-shirts? Only time will tell. But we'll be honest: We're worried about what this development means.


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