General Mills is looking to harness the power of the pumpkin spice flavor by making it the the newest line of Cheerios, scheduled to hit shelves this month.

Boxes of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios started shipping to retailers this week and should be available just ahead of Labor Day weekend, the company said. The Golden Valley-based food giant, well aware of the cult-like following the pumpkin spice flavor has, is hoping the flavor obsession will help boost fall cereal sales.

"We are always looking to remain relevant with our consumers," said Susanne Prucha, marketing director for Cheerios. "When we started talking about a fall flavor, there was no doubt consumers love pumpkin-flavored things across all categories."

The flavor's popularity all began in 2003 when Starbucks introduced the pumpkin spice latte -- or as hardcore flavor fans call it, "PSL". Hundreds of food and beverage products across all categories have been released as a result of this flavor phenomenon and cereal makers are joining the fray.

News of the product's release sent several enthusiasts into a dither, as evidenced on lifestyle website PopSugar when it heard the news. Its headline read: "This is NOT a Drill: Cheerios just released a Pumpkin Spice Flavor!"

Kellogg's is also jumping aboard the pumpkin-spice bandwagon, announcing this week the release of Special K pumpkin spice crunch.

Prucha points out the Cheerios flavor is made using pumpkin puree.

"That was really important to us as we developed these limited edition flavors. We know they expect real ingredients," she said. They are also gluten-free."