(USA TODAY) — Like every fad that's eventually done to death, the proliferation process seems to have no end.
Nothing heralds the coming of fall like pumpkin spice. Forget roadside apple cider, hayrides, sweaters magically emerging from the backs of closets and the endless raking of crisp crimson leaves. Pumpkin spice has taken over.
It's a marketers dream. Captain Morgan Jack-O' Blast Pumpkin Spiced Rum comes in a pumpkin-shaped bottle. Oreo cookies come in a pumpkin spice version, with the icing taking a distinct orange hue. Even Febreze air freshener came out with a pumpkin scent.
(Of course, there's nothing wrong with plain old pumpkins. No matter how long the pumpkin spice fad runs, those orange gourds will forever be a favorite, especially on National Pumpkin Day, which is October 26 )
Just before you throw up your hands in despair, consider that pumpkin spice isn't the only strange seasoning showing up in household products these days. Maple is starting to appear in more products than pancake syrup — in cologne, for instance.
For a more unusual autumn taste, consider how Canada-based coffee chain Tim Hortons has found a way to appeal to football and hockey fans who love digging into a big plate of chicken wings. It's been brewing up Buffalo sauce-flavored cups of latte.
By comparison, the pumpkin-spice invasion doesn't seem as bad. Something to consider as you wolf down a bowl of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios.