Image courtesy of Dunkin' Donuts
August is the new September, as evidenced by the early arrival of pumpkin spice flavors normally reserved for the fall season. What started in the last few years as a way for competitors to one up each other has now turned into the norm, as retailers across the country will look to get this flavor to consumers quicker than ever.

Just last year, McDonald’s decided to roll out its pumpkin spice lattes at the end of August in response to Starbucks’ decision to allow customers with a secret code to purchase pumpkin spice lattes in early September of 2015.

This week, Dunkin’ Donuts announced that it would begin serving its pumpkin spice flavored beverages and pastries on August 28. Among those will be a pumpkin cream cheese spread.

Meanwhile, reports state that many Starbucks and McDonald’s locations have already received shipments of pumpkin spice flavored sauce. While no release date has been set for either one, it’s expected that both will make those products available towards the end of August.

Many on social media are complaining about the seemingly-too-early return of the flavor to menus, but the move is being done for purely business reasons. 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.

With the market trending that way, local shops may be looking to follow in these footsteps and provide their own pumpkin spice offerings early as well.