Pumpkin spice fans, mark your calendars.
Dunkin’ announced Monday that its restaurants are starting pumpkin spice season earlier than past years. Aug. 21 is the first day Dunkin’ locations nationwide will offer the new fall lineup, featuring new and returning drinks and pastries.
“The calendar and climate still say summer, but for pumpkin lovers across the country, the excitement and demand for the favorite flavor of fall is already peaking,” Dunkin’ said in a statement.
Dunkin’s Pumpkin Flavored Coffee, K-Cup Pods, pumpkin doughnut, muffins and Munchkins donut holes are returning, along with the new Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Signature Latte, Apple Cider Donut and Munchkins. Pumpkin flavor swirl can be added to hot, iced coffee, Cold Brew, espresso drinks, frozen coffee and frozen chocolate.
Last year Dunkin’ brought back pumpkin on Aug. 27, a day before Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte – the drink that started the pumpkin craze 16 years ago – returned.
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While Starbucks hasn’t officially announced when its drink, known as PSL for short, will return to shops, the company has said it has a new Pumpkin Spice creamer inspired by the drink available in grocery stores. The limited flavor is part of its new line of creamers with Nestle.
Thomas’ Pumpkin Spice English Muffins and bagels are expected to arrive in stores Sept. 10, the same day as last year. Pillsbury Grands! Pumpkin Spice Sweet Rolls and other Pillsbury pumpkin products are rolling out to stores now.
More pumpkin announcements are expected soon with products hitting store shelves and restaurant menus in the coming weeks.
Early release at select Dunkin’ locations
It’s possible to get a taste of pumpkin early.
On Wednesday, a week before pumpkin’s return, eight Dunkin’ restaurants across the U.S. will rebrand to Pumpkin’ and give away free Pumpkin Flavored Coffee to the first 250 customers, the company said in a statement. Early customers will also get a free pumpkin-scented Munchkins lip balm.
The initial letters of the seven cities and towns where the temporarily rebranded Dunkin’s will be located spell out the word P-U-M-P-K-I-N-’. The eighth location is in Boston, Dunkin’s hometown.
According to a Dunkin’ blog post, the locations are:
- P: 270 Academy Ave., Providence, Rhode Island
- U: 15304 Hanover Pike, Upperco, Maryland
- M: 2765 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta, Georgia
- P: 98 Clairton Blvd., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- K: 5125 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Kissimmee, Florida
- I: 6405 Old Monroe Road, Indian Trail, North Carolina
- N: 850 8th Ave., New York, New York
- ‘: 510 South Hampton St., Boston, Massachusetts
McDonald’s coffee news
Coffee is big business at McDonald’s, which is marking the 10-year anniversary of its McCafé line with a brand refresh.
The new brand identity that rolls out this month includes new golden cups for the fast-food chain’s “gold standard for quality coffee,” an updated logo and a new tagline, “Good is Brewing.”
Elina Veksler, McDonald’s senior director of brand and menu innovation strategy, said the refresh “was inspired by the goodness we see in our customers every day,” including acts like paying it forward in the drive-thru or holding the door open for one another.
Last year, McDonald’s U.S. locations served about 822 million cups of hot Premium Roast McCafé Coffee, officials said, noting this is equal to almost 1,600 cups per minute.
McCafé coffees have been on McDonald’s American menu since 2009 but the concept first debuted in Australia in 1993.
McDonald’s said in a statement that the coffee brand “has grown into a significant segment of the McDonald’s business and remains part of our strategy to continue improving breakfast performance.”
Over the years, McDonald’s has expanded menu options with espresso drinks and bakery items.
“We’re always changing the menu,” Veksler said. “Stay tuned for what’s brewing.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko