Pumpkin Inspiration Is All Around!

November 4, 2013
Flavor Ingredients Trends
Whenever you need inspiration for seasonal concepts, sometimes all you have to do is go visit your local farm and pumpkin patch with the family or stay home and explore online.

In the spirit of fall activities, this past weekend we went with our son to Johansen Farms in Bolingbrook, IL. I went to high school with one of the Johansen boys, and I loved that they said their farm was All Fun and No Fright. That is right up my alley.  Everyone knows I’m a bit of a scaredy cat! It was my son’s first pumpkin patch, and it was adorable seeing him try to climb on the pumpkins and pick them up when some of them were bigger than him!

When it comes to family time, we are always thinking about food! There was a cute little bakery tucked away where customers can choose from apple cider donuts, apple pie, pumpkin pie, caramel apple walnut pie, peach berry pie and many other scrumptious indulgent treats.  Since the day we chose to go ended up being in the 80s….I opted to get some pumpkin pie ice cream!

Since my responsibility at FONA is to connect the dots between our marketing resources and technical product development teams to create product insights and concepts, I circled back with our marketing research team to better understand what they were seeing as current pumpkin trends!  They recently published a Pumpkin and Pumpkin Spice Trend Insight Report that covers limited time only products, new products launched, and pumpkin in the media, (email if you want a copy- mpiorkowski@fona.com)  Looking at the report, I found inspiration in unexpected places.  I learned that there is such a thing as pumpkin spice beef jerky – who knew!?   It was also mentioned in the report that hungry DIY chefs are living out their Pinterest board pumpkin dreams and dedicating entire boards for pumpkin goodies.  I LOVE Pinterest for getting new ideas and considering other perspectives!   FONA also has our own pumpkin board at https://ow.ly/qymhe. There are so many delicious recipe ideas such as peekaboo pumpkin pound cake, boozy pumpkin cheesecake shooters, pumpkin pie streusel bars and pumpkin milkshakes.

Here are some pumpkin ideas I found on Pinterest to help with your creativity.  I like these concepts because they seem to extend the limited time offer or seasonality to more than just October and November.

Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate: The combination of pumpkin pie and white hot chocolate makes for a sweet treat that lasts from early fall through the end of winter.

Savory Pumpkin Dip: Many health conscious folks already look to squash for counting calories.  In this dip I discovered, pumpkin puree is mixed with the always trendy bacon, green onions, pecans, cheddar cheese and cream cheese.

Smashing Pumpkin Cocktail: Pumpkin and bourbon flavors would be a great for a “girls night in” signature drink.

Pumpkin Patch Sparkling Apple Cider: Add pumpkin pie spice to apple cider. This could be a fun one for the kids for the holidays.


To sum things up, whenever I need inspiration, I spend time with family participating in community events and talk to colleagues to see how my own personal experiences lend itself to flavor and innovation!