Pumpkin Spice products have basically become their own season for many consumers. The explosion of products from pringles to chewing gum has everyone jumping on fall’s new favorite flavor.
Why is pumpkin spice so popular? For one thing, it’s a relatively new flavor profile. Starbucks debuted the PSL in 2003, and the flavor of “pumpkin spice” is relatively young. And did you know that it doesn’t actually contain any pumpkin? Nevertheless, today’s guests can’t get enough of it.
By the Numbers
Pumpkin spice has seen a meteoric rise in the last 13 years. The popularity of drinks, dishes, and home goods (like soaps, candles, and lotions) with this flavor rose 80% between 2011 and 2015 alone. If you’re a hardcore pumpkin spice girl (or boy) then you’ve already seen pumpkin spice takeover the food aisle for a few months each year.
The Flavor of Cozy
The Scandinavians have a word called hygge, which describes a feeling of imminent coziness. This feeling might explain why pumpkin spice has such a warming, cozy effect on consumers – and it also might explain why Scandinavians are such happy people!
Even if you live in a warm place like California, giving customers a cozy place to be, or a taste of home to carry with them throughout the day, gives them this feeling of hygge.
There are even pumpkin spice dog treats! Is there any dish you can’t improve with this flavor? Get creative! Pumpkin spice is great in savory applications, like creamy pumpkin pasta. Of course it works well in everything sweet from desserts to drinks – but it’s also dynamite in pancakes and muffins.
Remember the Unicorn Latte? One reason consumers get so excited for pumpkin spice everything is that is brings a sense of immediacy and seasonality to their well-loved routines. Consumers love telling stories with the things they buy, and an exciting limited time drink does the trick.
It’s definitely pumpkin season, and it’s never too late to get in on the action. Well, the day after Thanksgiving might be too late, because then we’ll be in peppermint season!