Restaurants debut autumn offerings earlier than ever.
Pumpkin spice is back at Starbucks, but the coffee chain’s new autumn offering focuses on a different fall flavor: apple.
Available hot or iced, the Apple Crisp Macchiato features the flavors of spiced baked apple and brown sugar with steamed 2% milk, espresso and a topping of caramelized-spiced-apple drizzle, brown sugar and cinnamon.
“For many customers, Starbucks signals the start of the fall season and has inspired a cultural phenomenon around fall flavor and products,” said Raegan Powell, senior manager on the Starbucks Corp. research and development team. “Fall at Starbucks brings customers back to the nostalgic flavors of the season, and our team used that inspiration to create a new flavor that celebrates those feelings of comfort and familiarity.”
The inspiration for the new beverage began with the idea of the fall harvest, Starbucks said. While pumpkin is popular, the company’s R&D team saw potential in the prominent fall flavor of apples. So in spring 2020, the team started testing a range of apple-flavored offerings, including apple maple syrup, apple cider donuts and an array of apple pies, cakes and crisps.
“The No. 1 thing we heard when developing the ingredients was customers wanted more apple,” Ms. Powell said.
The Apple Crisp Macchiato pulls inspiration from a variety of red apple flavors available in the fall season, including apple puree in the caramelized apple drizzle.
“Creating an ingredient with a spicy baked apple flavor was crucial to be able to bridge an autumn red apple to espresso,” Ms. Powell said. “Consider how well a delicious slice of warm apple pie pairs with a cup of coffee or how well the combination of Starbucks roasty signature espresso pairs with warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.”
Starbucks’ Apple Crisp Macchiato is available in the United States and Canada starting Aug. 24 for a limited time while supplies last.
“We are hopeful customers will enjoy their Apple Crisp Macchiato, hot or cold, and feel comfort as they take on all that fall has to offer,” Ms. Powell said. “No matter our customers’ traditions — football games, apple picking, or trick-or-treating — the Apple Crisp Macchiato is bound to bring comfort in a cup.”
The Apple Crisp Macchiato joins the returning Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew on Starbucks’ fall 2021 menu. Previous autumn offerings include the Maple Pecan Latte and Salted Caramel Mocha.
Cold Stone Creamery is debuting a duo of new ice cream flavors for fall: Pumpkin Bread Batter Ice Cream and Banana Bread Batter Ice Cream. The flavors are featured in two new Signature Creations and a new pie.
The Apple of my Pumpkin Pie Creation is made with Pumpkin Bread Batter Ice Cream, pecans, graham cracker pie crust, apple pie filling and caramel.
The Almost Baked Banana Bread Creation includes Banana Bread Batter Ice Cream, banana, pecans and cinnamon.
The Pumpkin Bread Batter Pie, available starting Nov. 1., features Pumpkin Bread Batter Ice Cream piled into a graham cracker pie crust and topped with white frosting, cinnamon and chocolate leaves.
“We're so ready to enjoy all the nostalgic flavors fall has to offer,” said Sara Schmillen, vice president of marketing at Kahala Brands, parent company of Cold Stone Creamery. “With the cooler weather and holidays to come, what better way to welcome the season than with the familiar flavors of pumpkin and banana bread, reimagined into super-premium ice cream.”
Pumpkin is the star of five smoothies at Smoothie King, including the new Keto Champ Pumpkin Smoothie.
The Keto Champ Pumpkin Smoothie is made with almond butter, organic pumpkin, Califia Farms almond milk, spice blend and keto protein blend. A 20-oz size contains 430 calories, 31 grams of fat, 23 grams of protein, 19 grams of carbs, 9 grams of net carbs and 5 grams of sugar.
Returning fall smoothies include the Pumpkin Vegan Smoothie, Pumpkin D-Lite Smoothie, Pumpkin Coffee High Protein Smoothie and the Pumpkin Slim-N-Trim Smoothie.
Dunkin’ is debuting its fall menu, including a new cold brew, refreshers and hot coffee.
The Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew blends cold-brew coffee with a pumpkin flavor swirl and is topped with new pumpkin cream cold foam and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. The pumpkin cream cold foam is light orange and features notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.
Dunkin’s new non-coffee beverage for autumn is the Apple Cranberry Refresher, made with Honeycrisp apple and cranberry flavors combined with green tea and B vitamins. The beverage is also available as an Apple Cranberry Coconut Refresher, which adds coconut milk to the mix.
The newest hot coffee in Dunkin’ Limited Batch Series is 100% Guatemalan Coffee. The single-origin coffee has less acidity and sharpness than other roasts, Dunkin’ said, and it features a smooth and rich flavor profile with chocolate notes.
Dunkin’s new fall offerings join returning seasonal menu items, including the Pumpkin Spice Signature Latte, Pumpkin Donut, Pumpkin Muffin, Apple Cider Donut and pumpkin flavored coffees.
Peet’s Coffee is introducing its fall menu, featuring two new beverages and a new take on one of its sandwich offerings.
The Pumpkin Oat Foam Cold Brew features Baridi Blend cold-brew coffee topped with a layer of pumpkin pie-spiced oat milk microfoam.
The Maple Oat Frappe, which is available exclusively to members of Peet’s Coffee’s rewards program, is made with Baridi Blend cold-brew coffee blended with ice, oat milk and a touch of maple.
The updated Chicken & Waffles Sandwich now includes chicken sausage, bacon and a sweet and spiced spread between two maple waffles topped with a crispy layer of toasted gouda cheese.
Returning fall menu items include the Pumpkin Latte and Maple Latte.
“Our fall beverage line is one of the most anticipated menus of the year, and this year we wanted to take our craft even further with a new Pumpkin Oat Foam Cold Brew,” said Patrick Main, senior beverage innovator at Peet's Coffee. “How could we top pumpkin spice? With a pumpkin pie-spiced oat milk microfoam, of course. We know our customers count on Peet's for new tastes and coffee experiences and this menu delivers the flavors and crisp sensations of fall with greater variety than ever before.”
Panera Bread is pouring a new latte for fall to compete with the ever-popular pumpkin spice latte.
The new Cinnamon Crunch Latte is inspired by Panera’s popular Cinnamon Crunch Bagel, of which the bakery-cafe chain sells more than 5,000 every hour, according to Panera. The new beverage is made with espresso, foamed milk and cinnamon-flavored syrup and is topped with whipped cream and a Cinnamon Crunch topping.
“It’s time to upgrade your ‘basic’ tendencies and explore a new fall latte,” Panera said. “Because, let’s face it, Cinnamon Crunch trumps pumpkin.”
Panera’s Cinnamon Crunch Latte is set to debut on Sept. 1 and will be available nationwide for a limited time.
First Watch is serving its autumn lineup of breakfast foods and juice.
The new Pumpkin Spiced Donuts are warm cake donut holes tossed with pumpkin spiced sugar and dusted with powdered cinnamon sugar. The treats are served with salted caramel apple butter and crème anglaise.
The Truffle Mushroom Hash combines roasted shiitake and crimini mushrooms with diced bacon, Monterey Jack cheese and seasoned potatoes topped with two cage-free eggs any style, Parmesan cream sauce, truffle oil and lemon dressed arugula.
The Short Rib Omelet includes red wine-braised beef short ribs, roasted shallots and crimini mushrooms, spinach and mozzarella cheese. The omelet is topped with Parmesan cream sauce and herbs and is serviced with lemon-dressed organic mixed greens and ciabatta toast.
The Butternut Squash Bisque is a creamy butternut squash soup sweetened with carrot and nutmeg and garnished with sour cream and herbs.
The Carrot Crush beverage blends carrot, orange, coconut water, turmeric and lemon.
First Watch also is bringing back its Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast, which features a spiced pumpkin pancake, two cage-free eggs cooked any style and a Jones Dairy Farm grilled chicken sausage patty.
“Fall is one of my favorite times of year and one that calls for rich, deep flavors and food that’s comforting and feeds the soul. Our menu this season pulls in hearty, robust ingredients like braised beef short ribs, roasted mushrooms and truffle oil and robust butternut squash,” said Shane Schaibly, vice president of culinary strategy for First Watch. “And of course, it wouldn’t be fall without pumpkin, which is why I’m so excited that we’ve brought back our iconic pumpkin pancakes and are adding sweet, fluffy pumpkin spiced donuts into the mix.”
Hungry Howie’s is serving new Pumpkin Spice Howie Bread, featuring 16 pieces of buttered, oven-bake breadsticks with a warm pumpkin spice served with a side of white icing for dipping.
“Hungry Howie’s has been known as the originator of flavored pizza, and after years of watching America’s love affair with pumpkin spice, we’re excited take part in the seasonal flavor craze with our Howie Bread,” said Jeff Rinke, vice president of research and development for Hungry Howie’s Pizza.” Our Pumpkin Spice Howie Bread is sugar, pumpkin spice and everything nice. It’s the perfect side item for family and friends to enjoy this fall.”
Black Rock Coffee Bar is launching a line of five fall beverages, available Sept. 1 through Oct. 31.
The Pumpkin Blondie is made with caramel, white chocolate and pumpkin and is topped with cinnamon and nutmeg. The drink may be served hot, iced or blended.
The Pumpkin Cold Foam Brew, featuring blended foam made up of pumpkin pie flavor and nonfat milk combined with white chocolate and vanilla and topped with cinnamon and nutmeg.
The Shaken Iced Pumpkin Espresso with Oat Milk is shaken with ice, espresso shots and pumpkin and is topped with oat milk.
The Huckleberry Fuel is a carbonated energy beverage that combines huckleberry and blackberry.
The Caramel Pecan Breve features butter pecan, caramel sauce, espresso, whipped cream and a caramel drizzle topping. The beverage is available hot, iced, blended or as a shake.
Fogo de Chão’s new fall-inspired menu features a premium steak, seasonal hummus and feta dish.
The Porterhouse has two steaks in one cut — filet mignon on one side and seared New York strip on the other — all seasoned with rock salt and fire roasted.
The Fall Seasonal Hummus is topped with roasted mushrooms, parsley, extra virgin olive oil and garlic chips.
The Marinated Feta features cubes of feta cheese combined with kalamata olives and garnished with green olives and capers.
Pilot Flying J is rolling out new fall-inspired coffee flavors and recipes to its network of travel centers across North America.
On Aug. 10, the chain debuted the Cinnabon Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino and the Apple Cider Cappuccino.
On Sept. 7, Pilot Flying J will begin serving Bourbon Pecan Coffee and Apple Pie Cold Brew.
On Sept. 17, Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamer will be available for customers to add to their beverages.
“We say if you can't beat the heat, then join us for a taste of fall,” said Jamie King, senior director of food and beverage for Pilot Flying J. “There's more than just pumpkin in our fall lineup for those who want to branch out and try something new like our Bourbon Pecan Coffee or Apple Pie Cold Brew. Stop in at one of our convenient locations on your route.”
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is evading traditional fall flavors for its pumpkin spice-free autumn menu.
The Strawberry Chia Lemonade Smoothie blends strawberries, lemon juice and chia seeds.
The Green Goddess Flatbread is made with a choice of grilled chicken, garlic-herb shrimp or plant-based protein, plus spinach, tomatoes, smashed avocado, shredded Parmesan cheese and green goddess sauce on a toasted flatbread.
“Who says fall foods have to be heavy? At Tropical Smoothie Cafe, we're offering a vacation from pumpkin spice with fresh new items that you can feel good about enjoying,” said Charles Watson, chief executive officer of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. “Our Green Goddess Flatbread is hearty without being heavy, with vegetables and healthy protein choices that won't weigh you down.”
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