They snuck onto shelves at the beginning of August to satisfy your craving for fall foods. 

By Elisabeth Sherman
Updated August 11, 2017
Credit: Courtesy of Mars

Because fall is a season, we see it happening outside our windows, we bundle up to protect ourselves as the harsher weather rolls in, but we don’t typically taste it (except for maybe the faint flavor of soggy leaves in the air). Still, if there’s one food that screams the fall season, it’s probably pumpkin (in America at least). Increasingly, more and more companies are trying to capture the essence of fall in food and to do that, they're putting pumpkin in everything. Enter the new White Pumpkin Pie M&Ms, made with white chocolate. They started hitting shelves last week, just as the pumpkin-flavored foods craze is ramping up in anticipation of autumn.

The release of the pumpkin pie M&Ms comes around the same time that Starbucks announced that they are now selling pumpkin spice flavored coffee grounds and bottled Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Once pumpkin-flavored foods hit the market, you know companies are starting to sniff out their fall business: Cheerios did it with this limited edition cereal, being first to the pumpkin punch last August, and it's back on shelves again this late-summer, too. The flavor has even been added to some foods it most certainly does not belong anywhere near, like this pumpkin spice pizza cake.

Yes, August might be a little early to start thinking about what fall will taste like (which may lead to you unnecessarily stressing over your Thanksgiving menu). We still need time to savor watermelon and margaritas on the beach before we start thinking about hot toddies and pumpkin pie. But it might too late—like some cinnamon-scented menace come to shatter our happy memories of warm summer days, pumpkin is rolling into grocery stores whether we are ready for it or not. On the bright side, pumpkin flavors usually mean warm spices with a hint of vanilla, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Still, if pumpkin-flavored food-induced angst is ruining your last beach vacation of the summer, we have the antidote: Just watch this video of an elephant smashing a pumpkin, and remember that there are three more weeks left in August.