Pumpkin spice season is officially here, people! My favorite part of fall is seeing how brands try to stick pumpkin spice where the sun don’t shine. The newest invention comes from McDonald’s. The fast-food giant decided to create pumpkin spice fries, available for a limited time this week in their Tokyo markets. Well, sort of. Their “pumpkin spice fries” are just their regular fries wearing drizzles of pumpkin sauce and chocolate sauce.
I’m so disappointed in McDonald’s. I can just picture pumpkin sauce and chocolate sauce squeezing out of plastic packets someone warmed up in a microwave. That’s too easy. I expected some concoction involving a pumpkin spice latte in potato form. Burger King has the Cheetos Chicken Fry. Taco Bell went for the Fiery Doritos Locos Taco Supreme. And all the McDonald’s team could dream up for fall was… a drizzle? Let it rain pumpkin spice, Mickey D’s! Go hard or go home!
I can’t even be peeved they didn’t find the United States worthy of their pumpkin spice fries. They need to go back to the lab and find their inner mad scientist. I totally would’ve gone for actual pumpkin fries with pumpkin in the french fry. Do I know if it’s even possible to fry pumpkin? No, but the crazier the idea, the more perfect. Oops: I meant “pumpkin.” (We don’t still believe it’s real pumpkin, do we?)
Grotesque works in fast food. Last year, Burger King gave us the black burger bun as a specialty item for Halloween. McDonald’s could’ve made a pumpkin spice bun for a cheeseburger with chocolate sauce. If brands can make pumpkin spice beef jerky, then a burger joint should be able to go there. Let’s fancy up some McNuggets with a dipping sauce that’ll make us say, “Oh, my gourd!” Filet-O-Fish my pumpkin spice so I know it’s real.
I can hardly believe the maker of supersize fries thought up a menu item so super-boring. If McDonald’s truly tried, they have a wide range of food that could benefit from a little pumpkin spice lovin’. They already offer a PSL under their McCafé menu. We need pumpkin spice milkshakes, parfaits, McGriddles and McMuffins. Now, if I were really going to stand in line for some pumpkin spice fries, I’d make them sweet potato/pumpkin. Mixing the salty fries with chocolate and a pumpkin sauce actually isn’t a bad idea. I’m a sucker for a creamy sauce on my French fries. Just not from the golden arches, sorry.
Mickey D’s pumpkin spice fries fail not because they’re gross (although I’d bet they are), but because they aren’t gross enough. The idea inspires neither morbid curiosity nor excitement. What’s the point in being basic with the season’s most basic food item? Nice try, McDonald’s, but I’m not lovin’ it.