Alternative Fall Flavors to Pumpkin

In mid-August, Dunkin’ Donuts announced that it would begin serving its pumpkin spice-flavored beverages and pastries on August 28, among those a new pumpkin cream cheese spread for bagels. This seemingly early announcement marks a trend in foodservice, as more and more retailers are opting to start serving pumpkin-flavored products before the fall season begins.

As long as the pumpkin spice flavor remains a big seller for retailers, they will continue to offer it ahead of the change in season. However, this is not the only popular flavor during the season. Many different flavors have increased in autumnal popularity over the past few years.

Here are a few of the flavors that you can excite customers with beyond pumpkin:


Although honey is usually seen as a summer flavor, it has made its way onto fall menus as well. It’s a great sweetener for a variety of fall products, such as carrot cake and cookies.


Another popular flavor in cookies is hazelnut. This nut is typically harvested around early fall, making it an ideal inclusion for that time of year. It’s one of the most popular flavors used in bakeries across the country because of its sweet and buttery taste.

Caramel Apple

One year ago, our sister magazine Food Business News asked the question, “Is caramel apple the next pumpkin spice?” The flavor has certainly held up one year later. Although it’s nothing new, it provides a major alternative to the taste we’ve grown accustomed to with pumpkin spice. It’s an indulgent flavor that has made its way into an assortment of products, and it lends itself to a wide variety of bakery applications.


This is one of America’s beloved foods, and for good reason. But it also makes a unique companion to baked goods. According to market analyst Datassential, bacon jam (made when bacon is cooked down with onions, vinegar, brown sugar, and spices) has grown nearly 400% on menus across the country in the last 4 years.

For a double dose, maple bacon is a flavor combination that adds two delicious flavors into your fall menu lineup.