In the worst PR disaster in the food industry since Chipotle’s meat recall, Starbucks has announced a total recall of its Pumpkin Spice Latte after the product was found to turn students into pumpkins.
According to the American coffee giant itself, Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte has consistently been its most popular seasonal drink since its debut in 2003 alongside the Eggnog Latte and Iced Peppermint Mocha, especially among high school students.
Recently, however, the pumpkin spice craze seems to have extended even beyond hot roasted ground-bean juices; pumpkin spice products have infiltrated supermarket aisles nationwide, in everything from pumpkin-spiced Oreos and Cheerios to pumpkin-spiced candles and pumpkin spice vegan protein powder. In fact, a study from data analytics company 1010data found that the number of pumpkin-spice-related products for sale increased by 50 percent from August to December 2016.
But can so much pumpkin-spiciness come without a cost?
Evidently not. The first incident took place on Oct. 15, when 15 students were rushed to the hospital after suddenly turning round and orange and collapsing in 15 separate Starbucks venues. Extensive tests revealed that the students were found with a BPC, or Blood Pumpkin Concentration, of around 100 percent. This signified that 100 percent of their blood supply—and in this case, their entire body—had been replaced with pumpkin. In other words, the students turned into pumpkins.
Experts determined that the abnormally high BPC was tied to an addictive element within pumpkin-spice latte that caused the students to consume dangerously high quantities of the drink in the weeks leading up to the incident.
“We didn’t know that this would be an issue,” a Starbucks representative said. “We simply didn’t know that high schoolers would be physically capable of drinking that much pumpkin spice latte. In response to the incident, we will be permanently removing our pumpkin spice latte from all of our chains. We extend our apologies to the affected families for the inconvenience.”
The students were unable to be reached for comment, partially due to the fact that they were in catatonic states, and also because they were pumpkins.
The incident has shaken the Northwood community, causing many students to reconsider their relationship with the pumpkin-y beverage.
“One time I drank pumpkin spice latte until my stomach hurt,” senior Hilary Lee said. “Boy, I remember being so addicted that I would try to drink my own pumpkin spice blood. Thank goodness I stopped and my BPC returned to normal, especially after what happened!”
“Now that I think of it, I might be addicted,” sophomore Gregory Jones said. “I hate pumpkin spice latte. But I can’t stop drinking it. I found pumpkin-spice scented napkins and air fresheners in my bag yesterday. I don’t remember buying those. Please send help.”
However, other students have remained fairly mellow about the whole situation.
“Pumpkin spice is pretty dope,” senior Jonathan Mah simply said.