Pumpkin Spice Fries Once Graced The McDonald's Japan Menu

Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts are known for their pumpkin spice rollouts every fall, but McDonald's isn't a chain typically associated with this seasonal trend. However, McDonald's Japan once attempted to capitalize on the love of all things pumpkin. It's no secret that McDonald's menus are different in other countries, and that includes the fast food giant's limited-time offerings. The Halloween Choco Potato joined that list of McDonald's menu items in 2016, though it never became enough of a sensation to go international — or even return at a later date.

McDonald's Japan's Halloween Choco Potato was a simple concoction, at least at first glance. It consisted of McDonald's fries topped with pumpkin and chocolate sauce. The sauces came in packets, enabling customers to drizzle as much or as little as they wanted on their fries. This twist turned a favorite side into a dessert. And as anyone who's ever dunked their fries in a McFlurry can attest, they pair surprisingly well with something sweet. However, the Halloween Choco Potato received a mixed reaction upon its debut.

McDonald's Japan's Halloween fries were controversial

With many lamenting that pumpkin spice has worked its way into everything from snack foods to garbage bags, it's no surprise that McDonald's Japan's Halloween Choco Potato was somewhat controversial. Although the brown and orange drizzle captured the essence of the Halloween season, many felt the menu item was simply a step too far. On Reddit, debate ensued over whether they were even worth trying. "Weird mix-up," one person wrote. "I love their fries. I like the whole ice cream fries thing. But this may be a bit too much for me."

That sentiment cropped up repeatedly, though some were on board with McDonald's Japan's Halloween-inspired treat. "Seems like it would work," one Reddit user said. "I dip my fries in my milkshake sometimes." And many gave these a shot — if only to see what they were all about. In a YouTube video, user emmymade admitted they didn't "taste bad at all," likening the sauce to donut frosting. However, the food reviewer noted that the orange sauce lacked pumpkin flavor. That might have been a selling point for those disgusted by that aspect of the treat.

Whatever your thoughts on them, the Halloween Choco Potato is among the strangest pumpkin products, even by 2023 standards. Considering the pumpkin spice obsession has only grown since 2016, it would probably be a hit if it ever made a comeback.