“Pumpkin spice pumpkins? What’s next, pumpkin spice pumpkin spice pumpkins?” wondered one customer.
Photo by Amit Roth
On October 1st, Starbucks announced an addition to their highly profitable fall flavor lineup: the pumpkin spice pumpkin, created through selective breeding. After many millions of dollars spent on genetic experiments, Starbucks scientists have been able to infuse the pumpkin spice flavor into the pumpkins themselves. The delicacy will be available in stores across the United States for the fall season, which Starbucks officially marks in their corporate calendars as October to May.
Pumpkin spice enthusiasts can order their sweet and spicy treat in three different portions, either a small, medium, or large slice. However, customers ordering using these terms may be ignored by the employees or potentially banned from all Starbucks establishments. The correct terminology for small, medium, and large slices will be “lang” (long in Swedish), “largo” (long in Spanish), and “magnum” (big in Latin), respectively. When asked about how Starbucks chose these size names, Starbucks’ marketing manager Stella Bucks replied, “It’s just another part of the Starbucks fall experience.” On the contrary, local Starbucks employee Barry Ista answered, “Customers often have no idea what size they are ordering and buy bigger, more expensive portions than they intended.” Unsurprisingly, Bucks projects a 20% increase in revenue for Starbucks this quarter.
After the announcement, some avid Starbucks customers shared their opinions on the new release. Emily Ginger has been going to Starbucks twice a day for the last 15 years, saying, “Coffee is the only thing that gives me the strength to take care of my three kids. I’m thrilled about the pumpkin spice pumpkins and will use them for my homemade candles, which I intend to burn in every corner of my house.” On the other hand, a UCSD student who has purchased over 400 cold brews this year expressed concern about the genetic modifications, fearing that they might “turn orange or something.”
Starbucks declined to comment about the safety of consuming their genetically modified pumpkins. However, insights into the technical aspects of the hybrid fruit were provided by geneticist John Test at UCSD. He stated that creating hybrid fruits through experimentation is not an uncommon genetic modification practice. However, scientists have expressed reservations about crossing spices like cinnamon and nutmeg with pumpkins, saying that this combination may result in dangerous mutations. Apparently, such mutations could cause stomach irritation or even the complete destruction of the ecosystem in which the pumpkins were grown. In addition, some scientists fear that the pumpkins may develop sentience and plot for planetary conquest.
Although there is confusion regarding the FDA’s approval of these pumpkins due to the possible side effects of ingestion, Starbucks plans to expand their pumpkin spice pumpkin products even further. According to an anonymous inside source, Starbucks is looking to add a pumpkin spice drink consisting of just spices and water. Starbucks also plans to create marijuana-infused pumpkin spice cake pops, which could boast even higher profit margins for the company.