In a year when the days and months blend together amid the coronavirus pandemic, fall is getting an early start.
Dunkin’ is rolling out its autumn lineup with pumpkin flavored coffee, espresso, doughnuts and muffins earlier than ever before, the company shared exclusively with USA TODAY.
Pumpkin spice season will arrive at participating Dunkin’ restaurants nationwide by Wednesday, with the release of a new chai latte, signature pumpkin spice latte and three new snacks, available for a limited time.
According to Jill Nelson, Dunkin’ vice president of marketing strategy, pumpkin is the most talked about flavor fans discuss on the company’s social media pages.
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“While there is so much uncertainty heading into the fall, one thing our fans can count on is the return of pumpkin at Dunkin’,” Nelson said in a statement to USA TODAY. “We’re excited to bring them one of the most anticipated flavors earlier than ever before.”
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Introducing the official flavor of fall earlier and earlier has been a trend for coffee chains. Last year, pumpkin pandemonium returned to Dunkin’ Aug. 21 and to Starbucks Aug. 27. In 2018, pumpkin came back to Dunkin’ Aug. 27 and to Starbucks the next day.
Starbucks officials confirmed in late July that they plan to bring back its Pumpkin Spice Lattes, which many call PSL for short.
“While we aren’t able to reveal our plans quite yet, we know that customers are eager for the return of their beloved fall drinks from Starbucks, including the fan-favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte,” Starbucks said in a statement to USA TODAY, adding fall products including a variety of pumpkin coffee are now available at grocery stores.
Dunkin’ hinted at this year’s return date in a tweet Tuesday that read “The Legend’s back in class… 8/19.”
Self-described pumpkin spice enthusiast Felicity Breuer, of Bradenton, said she found pumpkin coffee creamer in February in her local stores but has been counting down to the official pumpkin season.
“If I had a bigger living space, I would totally have one room dedicated to everything pumpkin,” said Breuer, adding that pumpkin is something that brings her “happiness and comfort in these trying times.”
Dunkin’s fall lineup
Here’s what is on the chain’s limited fall menu:
- Signature Pumpkin Spice Latte: The new Signature Pumpkin Spice Latte – available hot or iced – “combines rich, smooth espresso with pumpkin and vanilla flavors, topped with whipped cream, a caramel drizzle, and cinnamon sugar topping.”
- Chai Latte: The sweetened chai tea blend includes cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg combined with milk.
- Pumpkin Flavored Coffees: Dunkin’s pumpkin flavor swirl is available in its hot or iced coffee, Chai Latte, Cold Brew, espresso drinks, frozen coffee, and frozen chocolate.
- Pastries: Apple Cider Donut and Munchkins donut hole treats return as does the Pumpkin Donut, muffin and pumpkin Munchkins.
- Stuffed Bagel Minis: Dunkin’ is introducing Stuffed Bagel Minis in plain and everything topping and filled with plain cream cheese.
- Steak & Cheese Rollups: The chain is adding the new rollup to the menu, which includes steak and American cheese rolled up in flour tortillas.
- Maple Sugar Seasoned Snackin’ Bacon: For a limited time, Dunkin’ is “putting a seasonal spin” on its Snackin’ Bacon with bacon flavored with maple sugar seasoning. The Maple Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwich also is coming back for a limited time.
- Coffee at stores: Dunkin’ pumpkin spice K-Cup pods and packaged coffee are expected to be available in late-August.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko