ranking (some of) the pumpkin spice foods

It happens this time every year. You know what I’m talking about. Pumpkin spice-flavored everything floods grocery store shelves. Grant + I decided to put some of these items to the test. Here are our thoughts on a few pumpkin-spice foods. All opinions are our own.

Rating scale (from worst to best):

  • Stay away
  • Proceed with caution
  • Approved for human consumption
  • Drowning in a pool of happy-pumpkin love

As you can see, Grant is ready to try ALL the pumpkin foods with me. Get pumped, fall lovers!

[P.S. there are bonus pictures of Grant if you make it all the way through this post 🙂 ]

Trader Joe’s This Pumpkin Walks Into A Bar…Cereal Bars

Rating: Approved for human consumption

Steph: “Pretty good. I’d eat these for a quick breakfast. There’s a pumpkin flavor but it’s not obnoxious.”

Grant: “It tastes like pumpkin, but I didn’t cringe when I ate it. It’s definitely good.”



Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Tortilla Chips

Rating: Approved for human consumption

Steph: “Surprisingly good! They have a subtle pumpkin flavor but they’re not weirdly-spiced or anything like that.”

Grant: “They’re actually very good, but they don’t really taste like pumpkin.”

Trader Joe’s Fall Harvest Salsa

Rating: Drowning in a pool of happy-pumpkin love

Steph: “This is really good. Wow.”

Grant: “This is the best we’ve had. Ultimate pairing is this with the pumpkin tortilla chips. I’m surprised in a good way.”

We used this to make our Instant Pot Salsa Chicken – it was BOMB!

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

Rating: This one earned us a new low rating – do not touch with a 39-and-a-half-foot-pole (yes, Grinch style)

Steph: “After the first bite I was done. It was overly spiced and the flavor was not good.”

Grant: “Someone shoved a whole pumpkin in here and called it candy. Do not by any means eat. It gets worse the longer it stays in your mouth!”

Halo Top Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Rating: Proceed with caution

Steph: “Trader Joe’s has a pumpkin ice cream that’s way better. This is a little weird-tasting.”

Grant: “This could be an ok substitute for the pumpkin pie blizzard at DQ so in terms of a substitution this is ok, but it’s not great. There are chunks of pie crust that taste weird. The pumpkin flavor is off, too.”

White Pumpkin Pie M&Ms

Rating: Stay away

Steph: “OH, these are weird! It tastes overwhelmingly pumpkin-y and spice-y.”

Grant: “It’s like the pie filling without the crust. They replaced the crust with a m&m shell and I’m not satisfied. Even the M&M on the bag looks concerned.”

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Caramel Squares

Rating: Proceed with caution

Steph: “The chocolate somewhat redeems these. The caramel filling tastes like a cinnamon-dipped banana.”

Grant: “These should just be called Spiced Caramel Milk Chocolate Squares. No pumpkin to be found. Too much spice and it leaves a lingering aftertaste.”

Pillsbury Grands Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

Rating: Proceed with caution

Steph: “The cinnamon rolls are ok, the frosting is gross because it tastes like straight up sugary spices.”

Grant: “The frosting is really pumpkin-spice heavy and weird. Regular cinnamon rolls are way better.”

Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread

Rating: Drowning in a pool of happy-pumpkin love

Steph: “I love this. I love this a lot.”

Grant: “You can’t have a bite (when I asked him to share his piece with me). It’s too good. It tastes like pumpkin but in a good way.”

Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies

Rating: Proceed with caution

Steph: “Heavy pumpkin spice, blech – it’s overwhelming.”

Grant: “Lots of pumpkin flavor, but it’s not great. The white chocolate chips are supposed to be cheesecake bites but they don’t taste like it.”



Noosa Pumpkin Yogurt

Rating: Drowning in a pool of happy-pumpkin love

Steph: “It tastes like the good kind of pumpkin. I love this!”

Grant: “It’s pretty good. Just a light pumpkin flavor.”

Traveler Pumpkin Shandy Beer

Rating: Approved for human consumption

Steph: I don’t actually like beer so I didn’t try this one, sorry!

Grant: “I like it! But it’s not super pumpkin flavored.”

Honorable Mention: Pillsbury Pumpkin Shape Sugar Cookies

Rating: Drowning in a pool of happy-pumpkin love

Grant & Steph: We know these aren’t actually pumpkin flavored, but we make these every year for Halloween (it’s a childhood-nostalgia thing). We love them!

Hopefully this will help you decide which pumpkin spice foods are worth trying when you see them EVERYWHERE in grocery stores this fall! Just because we didn’t like something doesn’t mean you won’t like it, so give some of these a try!

Happy Fall! 🍁

Please enjoy a few more pictures of Grant because I love him + I love slightly embarrassing him, like the good wife I am.

Pictured above: Some items we considered reviewing, but didn’t. Also pictured, Grant in his Modeling Debut.

Check out these recipes if you love baking pumpkin foods!

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins 

Pumpkin Pasties

6 thoughts on “ranking (some of) the pumpkin spice foods

    1. Thanks Michaela! 😀 I love holidays so there will probably be more holiday-focused recipes and such coming for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

  1. Cool funny post! I’m not a big fan of pumpkin but the pumpkin bread sounds really good! I’ll have to check it out. The “concerned” face on the bag of m&m’s is hilarious 😂😂! You’re husband is such a great sport!

    1. Thanks so much! Yes, he is pretty great 🙂 The bread is really similar to the Pepperidge Farms regular cinnamon swirl bread so if you like that I think you’ll like the pumpkin one!

  2. Pumpkin spice season is one of my favorite times of the year. I have tried a lot of these products like the yoghurt the most. I just bought the chips and going to try them out soon.

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