Trader Joe's New Pumpkin Vinegar Is Dividing Shoppers

Each year, Trader Joe's introduces or reintroduces a bevy of pumpkin-flavored items for the fall season and, each year, Trader Joe's fans have a lot to say about them all. Trader Joe's new lightly spiced pumpkin spread turned heads on Instagram at the start of the fall 2022 season, with fans raving that the sweet-savory spread is great in coffee or on charcuterie boards. A new pumpkin cake offering had fans running to stores as well, to snap up boxes of the pumpkin sticky toffee cakes that are filled with not just pumpkin, but also dates, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Instagram also raved about Trader Joe's new pumpkin gnocchi and added the chain's new pumpkin spice cookies to their grocery lists. So ... you get the idea — Trader Joe's has a lot of pumpkin goodness to love, and it seems people do indeed love it.

Now, though, the grocery chain has introduced a pumpkin-flavored item that has shoppers on Instagram divided: pumpkin vinegar. Trader Joe's limited-time Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is, according to the Trader Joe's website, a pumpkin-inspired take on the brand's pre-existing Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. But what makes it so polarizing?

What exactly is Trader Joe's new pumpkin vinegar?

Pumpkin and vinegar isn't exactly a no-brainer combination. Even the phrase "pumpkin vinegar" brings up a lot of questions. So what exactly is it? The Trader Joe's website explains that the product is made by taking cold-pressed pumpkins and then fermenting them, turning the pressed pumpkin into a cider. Then, vinegar bacteria is added to the pumpkin cider and the fermentation process begins a second time. The result? You get the tang you already know from apple cider vinegar, just with a pumpkin-y flavor. Trader Joe's recommends using this pumpkin vinegar in salad dressings, soups, sauces, or combining it with seltzer to make a bold, tangy drink.

Instagram account @traderjoeslist posted about the product and noted its "tons of health benefits," but commenters have been a little reluctant to jump behind this particular Trader Joe's item. Most seem to think the vinegar is a sign of the pumpkin craze going just a step too far and another example of something no one asked for. Others questioned how useful the product would actually be on a regular basis and some said they would just stick to their regular ol' apple cider vinegar — which from a practical standpoint, might just be the best way to go.