REVIEW: Pumpkin Spice M&M’s

M&M's Pumpkin Spice

I originally planned to take a picture of the new Pumpkin Spice M&M’s in a seasonal and traditional setting laced with a backdrop of Indian corn, scarecrows, and autumnal delicacies. Heck, I would have even settled for an NFL tailgate. But since these new chocolate candies started hitting stores before kids went back to school and because my garden is filled with nothing but basil, feel free to use your imagination when looking at the photos throughout this review.

Not that I’m complaining about the arrival of anything pumpkin related. I was the guy who hoarded Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles last year. But pumpkin means fall is here (or around the corner) which means exchanging humid summer days for watching football during breezy fall afternoons.

I’m sure the usual pumpkin spice-flavored suspects will be out in force again this year — Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, McDonald’s Pumpkin Pie, and my personal favorite, Edy’s Pumpkin Ice Cream – but joining the pumpkin patch for the first time are these lovable M&M’s. Lovable because seriously, how can you not love a talking chocolate candy guy with a pumpkin on his head?

M&M's Pumpkin Spice Comparison

Pumpkin Spice M&M’s are bigger than your standard M&M’s (shown here in white) but not quite as oblong or imposing as Peanut of Almond M&M’s. I’m guessing the shell color choices of orange, green, and brown were meant to correspond to a pumpkin’s color. Beyond each colored shell is a sweet milk chocolate.

M&M's Pumpkin Spice Super Closeup

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Whoa there, why not white chocolate? That buttery, frosting-like taste was such a winning flavor with the Carrot Cake M&M’s, and would go pa-pa-perfectly with the pumpkin spice!” Well all I can say is hey, I feel you. While I don’t think anyone but the Nazis have opposed classic Milk Chocolate M&M’s, the simple truth is that they’re kind of plain on their own.

And Pumpkin Spice M&M’s aren’t much different. As I crunched down on a single candy, all I initially tasted was chocolate. True, it’s better than tasting raw pumpkin, but I was expected something a little more scrumptious. Then, almost as an aftertaste, a hint of cinnamon emerged. Here’s the thing though; it’s not that traditional vanilla and cinnamon warmth that one usually associates with pumpkin. Instead, it’s kind of a wimpy version of Cinnamon Red Hots. Cool and vaguely spicy, it’s more of a sensation than a flavor, and it’s not something that goes with the milk chocolate flavor. To use a gardening analogy, it’s like a pumpkin in a field of basil.

M&M's Pumpkin Spice Closeup

I may lack the discernible taste receptors to differentiate on the minute differences between cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, and whatever else might go into the ubiquitous “pumpkin spice,” but having tasted the flavor in a variety of products, I’m pretty sure at least a few of those spices were left out of the party. While the taste of cinnamon resonates weakly in the aftertaste, the truth is you’ve got to eat these one at a time and slowly to really take advantage.

Yeah, like anyone actually does that with M&M’s.

If you’ve been one of the few people who’ve secretly got their candy fix by chugging both Milk Chocolate M&M’s and Cinnamon Red Hots, well, these Pumpkin Spice M&M’s are going to make you happy. Otherwise, you’ll just want to stick with your standard favorite M&M’s variety.

(Nutrition Facts – 1.5 oz. – 210 calories, 80 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 27 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Pumpkin Spice M&M’s
Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 9.9 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Forcing autumn. Bigger than standard M&M’s. Tastes took much like regular M&Ms. Doesn’t melt in your hands. Using candy to help defeat the Nazis.
Cons: Weird cinnamon aftertaste doesn’t go with chocolate. Not really pumpkin spicy. No actual pumpkin involved, despite oddly noted gram of fiber. Bigger than standard M&M’s, which could mean eating about 75 grams of sugar without realizing it.

19 thoughts on “REVIEW: Pumpkin Spice M&M’s

  1. Disappointing to hear this. I had high hopes.

    Bring back pumpkin spice Hershey’s Kisses… little morsels of foil-wrapped heaven!

    PUMPKIN!

    1. But pumpkin spice Kisses are still around, aren’t they? I’m sure I saw them at the grocery store with the other Halloween candy.

  2. I was just glad that that the pumpkin spice M&Ms were not made with that ‘white chocolate’ substance that M&Ms has been using far too often for their limited-edition flavors.

    After reading your review, I’m not so glad anymore…

  3. Had them yesterday, highly disappointed by how they mostly tasted like normal M&M’s and when you did get ones with cinnamon in them, they left a strange aftertaste. I guess that’s what I get for getting my hopes up.

  4. Actually I have to kind of disagree with y’all a bit. True the cinnamon taste was very subtle… but I actually liked that. If it had been stronger, I would have thought WOW at first, but then after a while gotten sick of eating them. Case in point: cherry M&Ms released for Valentine’s Day. I’m a big (HUGE) fan of chocolate and anything fruit. And I like to eat chocolate with wine — I even *like* chocolate wine — so when I saw cherry M&Ms, my jaw dropped, And oh my gosh were they SO good. At first. After about half the bag, though, I was thoroughly sick of them. Ok, I know, right? Half the bag? I guess anyone would get sick after half a bag, but I don’t mean a tummy ache. More like a taste bud ache. Yuck. So flash forward to tonight’s trip to Target — I saw the bag of pumpkin spice M&Ms, and got the same jaw-drop reaction. I mean, I *love* all things pumpkin, really! So my first reaction was jaw-drop… but then my next reaction was taste-bud-ache, anticipating that they’d be so cinnamon-saturated I wouldn’t even get to taste the chocolate, and oh no. But I gave them a try anyway. My children and I that is. And we LOVE them. For me it’s just the right balance of chocolate and pumpkin spice — whatever the specialty flavor, it should never trump the chocolate. Chocolate rules! So,there’s my two cents :-)

  5. I am in disagreement as well as I thought these Pumpkin Spice M&Ms were terrific! I am soooo glad that they did not do white chocolate as pumpkin and milk chocolate are a great pair. If you don’t believe me have a slice of pumpkin bread with chocolate chunks in it.

    My only complaint was that the spice flavor was a bit faint at first but then built over time. I appreciate that they are using the larger size M&Ms so that the chocolate to candy shell ratio is greater. Also, I might find myself just keeping an open bag around as an air freshener this Halloween season. They could even branch out and make a Pumpkin Spice M&M candles. I would buy a dozen.

    I rate the Pumpkin Spice M&Ms an 8 out of 10 for taste and a 10 out of 10 for packaging and concept :)

    1. I totally agree, agree, Crystal (except for switching around the too/to). These reviews ought to be brief and to the point. I don’t need your life story, complete medical history and bucket list. Most people who read these reviews are actually standing in the store at the time, looking up reviews on their item on their phones just to see if it’s any good. That’s your audience–write for them, not for yourself. This is the writing equivalent of “chewing the scenery.” Whoever edits these seems to prefer and require these reviews to be long, rambling and irrelevant. “When I was a wee lad…” No one cares. Did you like the M’s or not? Professional food critics don’t even go into this much detail over fine, exotic delicacies.

      1. Hi Holly,

        I think you’re absolutely right. These reviews really do need to be shorter and I’m sorry that we let our creativity get the best of us. I think I’ve got the ultimate solution — haikus. They’re super short and easy to read on a phone, but still lets us use a little creativity. Let me write a haiku for this review:

        Holiday candy
        Regular M&M’s taste
        Not recommended

        My goodness. That was so freeing. I don’t know why I didn’t do this before. I’m going to make all our writers turn in their reviews in haiku form. I could write a dozen reviews in an hour. Holy shit! That is efficiency.

        No. Wait a minute. Haikus are too long. People don’t have time to read them. I just timed myself and it took me 4.5 seconds to read that haiku. That is wasting precious time in peoples’ lives. I think the only solution is to have one word reviews. Let me try to do one with this review: mediocre.

        Dear lord! It took me two seconds to write that review. I could write almost two thousand reviews in an hour. Also, it took me an eighth of a second to read it.

        But you know what, I think I can do better and at the same time crush any creativity. How about one letter reviews? Just like school grades, I can give an A, B, C, D, or F. Let me give these Pumpkin Spice M&M’s a letter grade: C.

        Wow! That is super quick! It’s been nine years and only now I’m coming up with this. With these letter grades, I can review EVERYTHING within a day.

        As you can probably tell, I’m being very sarcastic. But I also wrote it to explain why we write our review the way we do. I had a lot of fun writing this reply to you. How does that relate to how we write reviews? I want our writers to have fun writing their reviews and put their personality into them. So I guess you could say they’re writing for themselves. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have an audience. You say no one cares, but we have thousands of regular readers who, believe it or not, enjoy the way we do things.

        So despite your comment with wonderful grammar and the phrase “chewing the scenery”, we will not change how we write reviews.

        Marvo
        Editor

        “You can’t please all of the readers all of the time; you can’t please even some of the readers all of the time, but you really ought to try to please at least some of the readers some of the time.” – Stephen King

          1. One of these days I’m going to break the 3,000 word barrier. But I believe it’s going to take a special product to make that happen.

  6. I have been searching high and low for your pumpkin spice m&m because i heard how delicious they are. To my disappointment I have been unable to find them anywhere in my town. When asked if the stores would be stocking more, I was consistently told that they would not because it was a holloween item. My question is this: Why can’t the pumpkin spice flavor be continued and marketed for the Thanksgivig season too. The pumpkin is a traditional item for Thanksgiving, too. I Loooove Pumpkin pie and have served it at my table for Thanksgiving dinner for years. I am 62

  7. For what its worth, I quite look forward to the absurd and amusing and anecdotal reviews here. I know how to scroll to the 4/10 if I’m in a hurry – a skill apparently lacking for certain commenters above – and I understand what separates this blog from a hundred other generic review sites is the creative writing that accompanies the simple rating.

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