Sacramento, Calif. — A team at FinanceBuzz hired a California woman to fill a Pumpkin Spice Pundit position to taste test all of Trader Joe’s fall foods, said Maya Siman, Media Relations Manager for FinanceBuzz.
After screening over 60,000 applicants, the tips, advice and recommendations website chose Sacramento resident Lara Klaman to take on the task.
Klaman, founder of the Pumpkin Everything Facebook group, was sent to her nearest Trader Joe’s to purchase, taste and rank all of the pumpkin-inspired items that fill the store’s shelves every fall, Siman explained.
For those who love their fair share of pumpkin flavored fare, the results are in. Check out the Pumpkin Spice Pundit’s top and least ranked items to know which goods you should stock up on before the season ends.
Trader Joe’s top ranked fall foods
#1 Spicy Pumpkin Samosas — Rating 10/10
“So much delicious savory pumpkin flavor with a great, spiced heat,” said Klaman. “I may or may not have eaten the entire box. I will definitely stock up on these so I can enjoy them beyond pumpkin season.”
#2 Pumpkin Brioche Twist — Rating 10/10
“This brioche was delicious on its own, but the wonderful pumpkin spices take it to the next level,” said Klaman. “I had this toasted with a bit of butter, and it was perfect.
#3 Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix — Rating 10/10
“I would never have guessed this was gluten free. The bread was delicious, with great moisture, texture, and flavor,” said Klaman. “I loved the heavy spices here, especially the ginger.”
#4 Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps — Rating 10/10
“These crisps are a must-have around here during Pumpkin Palooza and we stock up while we can,” said Klaman. “They are delicious on their own and with cheese and dips of all kinds.”
#5 This Pumpkin Walks Into A Bar — 9.5/10
These are soft, sweet, crumbly, pumpkin perfection and everything you could possibly ask for in a breakfast/snack bar,” said Klaman.
#6 Pumpkin Bagels and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread — Rating 9/10
These were delicious! I had my bagels lightly toasted and slathered with the pumpkin cream cheese,” said Klaman. “Because really, there’s no such thing as too much cream cheese!
#7 Pumpkin Bisque — Rating 9/10
“I didn’t expect to love this soup so much! It is so warm and flavorful, savory with a tiny swirl of natural sweetness,” said Klaman.
#8 Pumpkin Cheesecake Croissants — Rating 9/10
“This is another product that should come with a warning label,” said Klaman. “They are deliciously buttery and flaky, with a rich, creamy cheesecake filling.”
#9 Pumpkin Waffles — Rating 8/10
“These waffles were really good, and so easy to prepare,” said Klaman. “Just pop them into the toaster and add your favorite topping.”
#10 Pumpkin Biscotti — Ranking 9.5/10
“As someone who is not a big fan of biscotti, I thought these were really yummy,” said Klaman. “Not too sweet, but chock full of super pumpkin spicy goodness.”
Trader Joe’s least ranked fall foods
#30 Pumpkin Overnight Oats — Ranked 2/10
“Let me start by saying I love overnight oats and make them regularly,” said Klaman. While the flavor of these oats was okay (not bad, but not great), I didn’t like the texture at all.”
#29 Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread — Ranked 2/10
“Pumpkin bread is classic pumpkin-season fare and this ready-to-eat version is okay,” said Klaman. “It has a nice warm pumpkin spice flavor, but the texture was different than I expected from a quick bread — more of an angel food cake style. Not my favorite.”
#28 Pumpkin Spice Coffee and Pumpkin Oat Beverage — Ranked 3/10
“This coffee smells so good, but I didn’t love it,” said Klaman. “The pumpkin oat milk also smells great, and I normally do like oat milk, but I didn’t care for the flavor or texture of this one.”
#27 Chocolate Mousse Pumpkins — Ranked 4/10
“The only pumpkin thing about these is the shape — they are all chocolate, all day long,” said Klaman. “I grabbed these thinking they had some kind of pumpkin in them, but they are all rich, decadent chocolate cake and mousse filling.”
#26 Pumpkin Spiced Joe-Joe’s — Ranked 4/10
“This is a pumpkin sandwich cookie in a yogurt-flavored coating with sea salt,” Klaman explained. “These are pretty good, but very sweet and rich, and I’m not too sure about the sea salt.”
#25 Petite Pumpkin Spice Cookies — Ranked 4.5/10
“I’m a sucker for shortbread and I liked these cookies, but I think they could have used a splash more pumpkin spice,” said Klaman. “They were still yummy, just not very pumpkin spicy.”
#24 Pumpkin Spice Espresso Beans — Ranked 5/10
“I love the regular chocolate version of these with white, milk and dark chocolate, but these seemed a little bland on their own and not very pumpkin spicy,” said Klaman.
#23 Pumpkin Spice Batons — Ranked 5.5/10
“These are delicate rolled wafers filled with pumpkin spice cream,” said Klaman. “They have a nice, crisp cookie outside, but the filling lacks pumpkin spice flavor and were a bit too sweet for me.”
#24 Pumpkin Blondie Brownies — Ranked 6/10
“Holy Pumpkin Blondies Batman! These are super pumpkin decadent and very gooey and sweet,” said Klaman. “The flavor is all there and I think pumpkin-loving snackers will like them.”
#25 Pumpkin Greek Nonfat Yogurt — Ranked 6/10
“This yogurt tasted just like Greek yogurt with real pumpkin and a splash of spice, which was perfect for me,” said Klaman.
That’s a wrap
The flavors have been tasted and the Pumpkin Spice Pundit has spoken. Pumpkin spice loving Trader Joe’s goers now have an expert’s opinion ahead of their next grocery shopping trip this fall season.