Science may say there’s still two weeks left of summer, but who needs Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson? We all know ShopRite calls the seasonal shots. When the pumpkin spice Tastykakes hit the shelves, it’s fall.
Retail establishments are notorious for operating on a different calendar than the rest of the planet (subtweet, @JCPenney Christmas decorations), so I’m not surprised that — from Dover to Hackensack — each outpost of the grocery store giant is already boasting pumpkin spice products. I just kind of wish that the Rocket Pops and Country Time didn’t have to move to make room for them (because, you know, it is still 94 degrees out).
So, if you hit the supermarket this weekend to grab some late summer BBQ hot dogs and watermelon, don’t be caught off guard if you notice eats that look like they belong in a Spirit Halloween.
From the bakery section to the dairy fridges, here are nine pumpkin spice products that are already taking over ShopRite.
Pumpkin Spice Oreos
Pumpkin Spice Oreos were originally invented in 2014, but, after a second appearance in 2017, the limited-edition cookie disappeared until 2022. This year, therefore, marks the first time the treat has been offered for two consecutive falls in a row. If you’re into Golden Oreos and spiced creme, then, make sure to grab a package now — there’s no telling if they’ll return in 2024 (and yes, they’re good).
Quaker Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
Quaker’s Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal is always one of the first fall products to return to the shelves each year. And when it makes its comeback? It does so on a huge cardboard display that’s impossible to miss. Head to your nearest ShopRite now and you’ll have no trouble finding the cinnamon-spiced breakfast.
Pumpkin Spice English Muffins
I go back and forth about whether or not I actually like these, because, when you eat them cold, they taste somewhere between commercialized breakfast syrup and a Bath and Body Works candle. Hot and topped with cream cheese, though, they taste like a fresh-baked pumpkin roll. So, eat them warm, I guess.
Pumpkin Spice Coffee-mate Creamer
For the pumpkin spice lattes.
Pumpkin Spice Belvita Biscuits
Belvita’s Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Biscuits are actually pretty good. Are they as tasty as the blueberry? No — but they soften in milk the same way, and have a nostalgic flavor profile that’s quite enjoyable.
Pumpkin Spice Chobani Yogurt
Now also offering a 60-calorie version, for those with no soul.
Pumpkin Spice Cookie Dough
Pillsbury is the king of cookie dough, but these pumpkin-flavored cookies aren’t as good as their classic pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies (the ones with the cute little jack-o-lantern flavors that kids eat raw from the package every Halloween).
Pumpkin Spice Krispy Kreme Donuts
These are bangin’ — I don’t care what anyone says, lol.
Pumpkin Spice Tastykakes
Kinda dry, kinda not: a beautiful and poetic testament to the mediocrity of the pumpkin spice genre as a whole.
Kara VanDooijeweert is a food writer for NorthJersey.com and The Record. If you can’t find her in Jersey’s best restaurants, she’s probably off running a race course in the mountains. Catch her on Instagram:@karanicolev &@northjerseyeats, join ourNorthJerseyEats Facebook group, and sign up for herNorth Jersey Eats newsletter.