Pumpkin Spice Cheerios are in the pipeline to your supermarket


Well, the back-to-school sales have already started so you know what's coming up next: pumpkin spice stuff.

And this fall Twin Cities-based General Mills is spicing up its long list of Cheerios varieties by adding a seasonal one.



Pumpkin Spice Cheerios started getting shipped to stores this week, the Star Tribune says, and should be on shelves before Labor Day.

The folks at Tasting Table did some taste testing. One description is that it tastes like a candle without the wax – and that was meant as a compliment. Another taster thought the autumn flavors were reminiscent of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, although in this case it's nutmeg and cloves as well as pumpkin.

There was also talk of grinding up the Cheerios for use in the crust of a pumpkin pie.

Cheerios on the rebound?

Bloomberg reported this spring that Cheerios sales have fallen in each of the last five years and that the cold cereal industry is in a slump. General Mills was encouraged last year, though, when the drop in Cheerios sales was less than one percent.

Pumpkin Spice is the second limited-edition flavor of the year for Cheerios, following a strawberry version of the cereal.

Today's abundance of varieties is a far cry from General Mills' thinking in the 1970s. The company's historian (General Mills turned 150 this year) recently blogged about the "don't mess with Cheerios" philosophy that opposed variations on the original oat.

That thinking was reinforced when an experiment with Cinnamon Nut Cheerios failed in 1976, but it died out when Honey Nut Cheerios became a big seller three years later.

Pumpkin spice fatigue

In the last few years Americans have been subjected to a seasonal invasion of pumpkin spice flavoring.

Last year it even spread beyond food to things like dish soap and dog shampoo.

Perhaps it's not surprising that it has spawned a backlash.



Then again, there's no denying that pumpkin spice has its fans.



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