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Pumpkin spice lovers, rejoice - tasty blend returns early this year

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Is mid-August too early for pumpkin spice flavors to make their annual appearance? Not according to Dunkin’ and Starbucks.

Fall products from Dunkin’ will be on the menu beginning Wednesday, their earliest-ever rollout. The Starbucks pumpkin spice latte will return Aug. 25, according to Business Insider.

Are people craving cooler weather or something to spice up the monotonous days of the shutdown and social distance?

Maybe a little of both.

“While there is so much uncertainty heading into the fall, one thing our fans can count on is the return of pumpkin at Dunkin’,” Jill Nelson, Dunkin’ vice president of marketing strategy, told USA Today. “We’re excited to bring them one of the most anticipated flavors earlier than ever before.”

Dunkin’s fall lineup includes a new signature pumpkin spice latte, new chai latte and pumpkin-flavored coffees.

If your drink of choice packs a little more wallop, be advised that pumpkin beers are on the shelves, too.

Pittsburgh Brewing Co.’s Block House Pumpkin Ale is already on store shelves, said marketing specialist Anna Angotti.

“It’s brewed in one limited batch, and it does go pretty quickly,” she said. “It’s one of our most popular brews.”

One place you’ll find it is Beverage Warehouse in Greensburg — along with a selection of other seasonal quaffs.

“We put our pumpkin beers out on Aug. 1, and we’ve already sold about 30% of our inventory,” said manager Michael DeBone. “People buy early and they sell out pretty fast. Whether they drink them or not, or keep them in the garage until later, I don’t know.”

Coming soon

Not everyone is on the pumpkin spice express just yet, though.

Seasonal brews are coming the first week in September to Harvest Moon Coffee & Chocolates in Tarentum.

“You don’t want to be the first one to do it in August, and then you get grief for that,” said owner Desiree Singleton. “Then one day it changes, or the morning is a little cooler, and people come in wanting that warm, comforting drink.”

Pumpkin spice and other fall-flavor pastries and other sweets will be available from Prantl’s Bakery in September, said Hannah Parks, a customer care specialist in the bakery’s Greensburg shop. The list of products is not yet available.

“People do like their pumpkin, though,” Parks said.

Plenty of other pumpkin spice products have arrived in stores, or will be there soon. These are some of the best to look for this fall, according to Taste of Home:

• Jet-Puffed pumpkin spice marshmallows — sprinkle a few atop your pumpkin spice latte.

• Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Milano cookies — they should be on store shelves by late August.

• Pumpkin Pie Kit Kats — in 2019, Taste of Home said “magic happens” when pumpkin meets chocolate.

• Pillsbury pumpkin cookie dough — this year’s new formula is “eat or bake,” and did we mention the cookies also have cream cheese-flavored chips?

• Blue Diamond pumpkin spice almonds — where else will you find a treat that is gluten- and cholesterol-free, and a good source of fiber?

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