The fall season is now upon us, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for everyone’s favorite fall foodservice trend, Pumpkin Spice. Pumpkin spice has evolved from a simple seasonal flavor to a full-fledged food rock star. Pumpkin pie isn’t just for Thanksgiving anymore, folks.
Starbucks released their popular Pumpkin Spice Latte early this year. Fans of the beverage were able to order it as early as August 25th. It’s easy to see why the brand made this choice – the pumpkin spice latte is Starbucks’ best selling seasonal beverage of all time. Releasing it early means more time to rake in the pumpkin spice-scented bucks. The Pumpkin Spice Latte is so popular for the brand they’ve started an official Twitter account for it (@TheRealPSL), to great success. Over 93,000 people follow the Pumpkin Spice Latte on Twitter. Starbucks is great at developing foodservice marketing campaigns, but there’s more to it than that. America just really, really loves pumpkin spice. Companies like Starbucks are just giving the people what they want.
Oreo has jumped into the pumpkin arena, debuting its new pumpkin spice crème version of the cookie. The company has been experimenting with a wave of new flavor concoctions recently (such as birthday cake and caramel apple), so it seemed only a matter of time before pumpkin spice made its way into that iconic cookie sandwich.
Pumpkin spice has made its way into every daypart, though it seems to be most popular in breakfast and snack foods. Consumers looking to enjoy a fall breakfast can microwave Kellogg’s Eggo Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Waffles with some Country Crock® Pumpkin Spice spread melted on top. If they’re more in the mood for a bagel they can slather on some of Kraft’s Phildelphia Pumpkin Spice cream cheese. And they can wash it all down with either a Pumpkin Spice Latte or a cup of coffee with Nestle’s Coffee Mate Pumpkin Spice. Later in the day consumers can swap out of the coffee for one of the many seasonal pumpkin beers on the market.
The pumpkin spice options are limitless, and they don’t stop with food. Consumers can also buy pumpkin spice lotion, hand sanitizer, and shampoo.
Is pumpkin spice here to stay? So far all signs are pointing to yes, it’s a foodservice trend year over year. Since pumpkin spice seems to be sticking around, here are five fun facts to help you learn more about pumpkins and pumpkin spice:
1. More than 200 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes have been purchased since Starbucks launched them in 2003.
2. There are six calories in one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.
3. 80% of the pumpkin supply of the United States is available in the month of October.
4. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and California are the top pumpkin producing states. About 90-95% of processed pumpkins in the US are grown in Illinois.
5. Pumpkin spice does not actually contain pumpkin! It is usually made from a combination of spices, such as cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, or ginger. Consumers just associate this mix of spices with the smell and taste of pumpkins due to food marketing campaigns.
What do you think of the pumpkin spice craze? We’d love to hear your thoughts!