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Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Picks: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em

Leaves are changing colors, days are getting shorter, and sweaters are coming out of storage. Accompanying these annual shifts is the ever-present, indomitable flavor-champion of the autumn season: pumpkin spice. As an agency of food lovers, we’re not immune to the charms of the cinnamon-y, nutmeg-y goodness of a well-executed pumpkin spice treat, and with the popularity of this beloved spice mix comes an intimidating number of options. As always, our agency proudly reports for duty to answer one question: which pumpkin spice products are worth your time?

MISSION: Pass or fail pumpkin spice products
TARGET: 8 products full of pumpkin spice goodness
TASK: Give each product a “Love It” (I’d buy that) or “Leave It” (I’ll pass on that) and then rank the choices against each other from best to worst.


Joe-Joe’s Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies – Leave It

The popular opinion with this option was that they were “a little much.” While most of the testers were happy with the first bite, the sweetness of the frosting had a diminishing return on consecutive bites. Overall, this was the most consistently low ranked of our options.

Pumpkin Spice Batons – Leave It

Very much a counter to the last product, this one was lacking in the flavor department. Largely panned by our testers, it failed to stand out.

Pumpkin Spiced Teeny Tiny Pretzels – Love It

Nearly all our testers gave this one a passing rating, but it fell somewhere in the middle amongst its peers. Light on the pumpkin spice flavor, the pretzels leaned more heavily on the combination of salty and sweet.

This Pumpkin Walks into a Bar – Love It

This product’s name alone won itself a couple points. Our testers were surprised by the fruity tang and welcomed the taste despite its departure from the traditional pumpkin spice flavor.

Petite Pumpkin Spice Cookies – Love It

This was one of the more polarizing options, passing by just one vote. Reminiscent of the frosted animal cookies of our youth, the Petite Pumpkin Spice Cookies benefitted from the nostalgia of a time long past.

Pumpkin Blondie Brownies – Love It

Another contentious option, this entry also passed by one vote. The most anticipated option for our testers, the product failed to meet the expectations of a few. However, this moist and indulgent square was able to win over the majority.

Pumpkin Biscotti – Love It

Consensus here was these were just begging to be dunked into a hot beverage of choice. This biscotti had a light pumpkin flavor, creating a taste more akin to gingerbread.

Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Seeds – Love It

This was our only option that was unanimously voted “Love It.” On top of that, it was the most consistently highly ranked of our options. To the delight of our team, the pumpkin spice brought an interesting contrast to the salty pumpkin seeds.


Overall, this mission was a resounding success. While our team loved the pumpkin seeds and were a little let down by the sandwich cookies, we freely admit we are victims of our own biases and encourage you to explore any of these options — and more — on your own. If you agree, disagree, or have any strong opinions, we’d love to hear them!

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