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Pumpkin spice craze takes off but some products miss mark

Posted November 17

From cereal and coffee, to almonds and even salsa, it's tough to escape the pumpkin-spice mania that explodes each fall.

Coffee chain Starbucks debuted its pumpkin spice latte 13 years ago. Now, you'll find pumpkin-flavored options for many products, but the big question remains: Do the foods actually taste good?

Pumpkin pie is the original, but for a pumpkin fix without the pie, Consumer Reports checked out 20 products to find the tastiest. Some were not so great.

Putting "pumpkin" on the label didn't make Blue Diamond almonds irresistible—the candy-like brown spice coating overpowered the nuts, according to testers.

Some better options were Noosa Finest Yoghurt Pumpkin. Testers said it was creamy, with real pumpkin and a hint of pumpkin pie spices. The yogurt needs a warning though: It's made with whole milk and is pretty rich, so watch your portion size.

Another tasty option is Pumpkin Spice Cheerios. They taste mostly of clove but also have hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.

For a snack, check out the Pumpkin Spice Flax Crunchy Granola Bar from Kashi. The bar is a solid option with 4 grams of fiber.

The tasters agreed on Imagine Organic Creamy Pumpkin Soup: It is thick, smooth and slightly sweet, with some pumpkin spices.

Finally, have a glass of water ready for Trader Joe's Fall Harvest Salsa. Testers found the heat overpowered the flavors of pumpkin, apples and squash, but they say it was still pretty pumpkin tasty.

Another thing to keep in mind: Check the label on these pumped-up pumpkin options because some have a load of added sugar.

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