Starbucks' Pumpkin Spiced Latte and 10 More Ways to Get a Pumpkin Fix

This story has been updated from Saturday, Sept. 20 with additional pumpkin information.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ahh, fall. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling down and consumer-focused companies have rolled out the red carpet to fall festive products. On top of that list? Anything pumpkin.

Pumpkins are symbolic of the fall season and an increasing number of retailers, manufacturers and restaurant companies are taking advantage of the consumer demand, said Rick Zambrano, food research editor for Packaged Facts, a market research firm. "Pumpkins are nostalgic for Americans - they take us back to when we were in school, when we enjoyed Halloween and decorated pumpkins as kids... enjoyed pumpkin pie baked by grandma. It's a flavor that is not only taste-centric but also a sensory experience that connects us with our past," he wrote in an email to  TheStreet.

From the myriad of pumpkin-flavored lattes, beers, baked goods and things that smell good, it's clear that consumers cannot get enough of the fruit. (Yes, it's a fruit!) And that goes way beyond our love affair with fall foliage outings, pumpkin picking and corn mazes. Here are 10 favorite ways to enjoy the flavor of pumpkin.

1. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

For those that don't like beer, Starbucks' (SBUX) Pumpkin Spice Latte may be the quintessential fall beverage. Now in its eleventh year, the popular drink has its own Twitter (TWTR) hashtag, #PSL, and even its own Twitter handle @TheRealPSL that has more than 93,000 followers.

The latte is a decadent combination of Starbucks' signature steamed milk, creamy pumpkin-flavored sauce and spices of the season such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove, the coffee company has said. Top it off with whipped cream and an extra bit of pumpkin spice topping and customers swoon. The beverage is available as a hot item, iced or as a Frappuccino blended beverage.

The popularity of the beverage has surprised even Starbucks' management team. During its 10th anniversary last year, Starbucks noted that it had sold nearly 200 million pumpkin spice lattes since 2003.

1. Pumpkin Beer

Nothing denotes the start of the fall season quite like the return of pumpkin beer. From Sam Adams (Boston Beer Co. (SAM) ) to Anheuser-Busch's (BUD) Shock Top, big and small beer players have gotten in on the trend.

An especially popular way to drink pumpkin is with the addition cinnamon and sugar around the rim of the glass to contrast the bite of the generally heavier beer.

As TheStreet's beer expert tells it, beer companies are releasing their fall flavors earlier and earlier to capitalize on consumers' demand for all things fall, much like retailers set up for holidays as early as possible to grab shoppers.

3. Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts

What do you get when you combine pumpkin pie and Kellogg's (K) pop-tarts? A sugar explosion followed by a warm, fuzzy feeling. Pop-tarts are generally poo-pooed by the health-minded community because of the amount of sugar the toaster pastries' contain. However, do yourself a favor and splurge on the Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts while they're available.

4. Krispy Kreme Pumpkin doughnuts

No snack is complete though until you have tried one of Krispy Kreme's (KKD) Pumpkin Cheesecake Doughnuts, one of several items the doughnut maker produces for the fall season. Earlier this month, Krispy Kreme announced the arrival of its fall flavors, which also includes a Pumpkin Spice Cake doughnut and its version of the Pumpkin Spice latte, available for both hot or cold brewing. (Of course it's topped with whipped cream!) The items are available now through Nov. 27, 2014.

5. Yankee Candle - Spice Pumpkin

Another way to recognize that fall has returned is when Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) displays fall decorations for sale, with a big portion of the merchandise including Yankee Candle's (owned by Jarden (JAH) ) various fall-flavored scents. The South Deerfield, Mass.-based candle company sells their candles, available in many sizes (c'mon splurge for the large jar of Spiced Pumpkin!) sells directly and through authorized retailers across the country.

6. Pumpkin Spice Coffee-mate

Not into the Starbucks lattes? Prefer to make your coffee at home? How about trying some of Nestle Coffee-mate's Pumpkin Spice creamer to amp up your morning? Typically available from September through December, the creamer is available at select stores in liquid, powder and sugar-free liquid options.

7. Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka

Morning not your thing? Pinnacle's Pumpkin Pie-flavored vodka uses sweet pumpkin spices and warm vanilla to come off with an almost creamy finish. Sure to be a hit with any consumer who likes flavored vodkas, Pinnacle suggests pairing this vodka with soft drinks like ginger ale; with juices such as orange and cranberry juice; or even with Creme de Cacao and chocolate milk to create a Chocolate Pumpkin Graham-tini. The result is sure to put some spice into your nightlife.

8. Trader Joes Pecan Pumpkin Oatmeal

Trader Joe's Pecan Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal is a fan favorite with pumpkin lovers. The organic and specialty foods grocer says the product uses whole grain oats and seasonal flavors including real pumpkin, cinnamon, and pecans, "resulting in a hot cereal that evokes images of family and friends and warmth and health and happiness," according to its Web site.

The seasonal item is available in stores now through November, according to one employee. (We checked with the Court Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. location.)

9. Chobani Pumpkin Spice Greek yogurt

Chobani launched its answer to the pumpkin craze with a Pumpkin Spice Greek yogurt. The yogurt was launched last month and will be available through January 2015.

10. Pumpkin Oreos

Hitting the shelves this week, Nabisco (owned by Mondelez International (MDLZ) ) will roll out its new Pumpkin Spice OREO on Wednesday, Sept. 24. Inspired by strong consumer demand for all things pumpkin, the limited-edition flavor combines Oreo's classic Golden cookie with a Pumpkin Spice flavor cream. It will be available at national retailers for six to eight weeks or as long as supplies last, according to an Oreo spokeswoman.

"We know there already is a strong, organic demand for pumpkin flavored treats in the fall so we're excited to see how fans respond to Pumpkin Spice OREO," the spokeswoman wrote in an email.

11. Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Muffin

Take one bite of Dunkin Brands (DNKN) Pumpkin Muffin and you'll immediately fall in love. The muffin is part of the doughnut chain's fall line up, which includes a pumpkin pie donut, pumpkin-flavored donuts and Munchkins, K-cups and packaged coffee and of course, Dunkin's pumpkin-flavored coffee and lattes.

--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

Follow @LKulikowski

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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