Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice
Fall is officially here, which means it’s time to indulge in everything pumpkin-spice…that’s if you haven’t already begun doing so, of course.
While the fall season actually begins towards the end of September, retailers and brands have strategically pushed their seasonal product launches weeks beforehand, taking full advantage of consumers’ giddiness for the upcoming holidays.
In fact, Starbucks’ famous Pumpkin Spice Latte, arguably the leader of the pumpkin-spice season, was released earlier than ever this year: August 27th, a full six days before Labor Day.
Although this early release date has sparked some controversy, with some claiming it to be unnecessarily premature, there’s no denying that it successfully created an overwhelming positive response from PSL lovers nationwide.
And with the way market competition works, it is no surprise that nearly all coffee chains followed suit, accompanied by other retailers and grocery outlets.
Trader Joe’s has come to claim its place as a top competitor in association with the pumpkin-spice season, pushing a myriad of pumpkin-flavored products. In the few weeks approaching the start of fall, their shelves begin stocking up with pumpkin-flavored everything, creating a mecca of any pumpkin-lover’s dreams. The pumpkin flavor makes its way into almost every product category, including coffee, tea, yogurt, almond milk, ice cream, cereal bars, waffles, cookies, bread, bagels, chips, soup, ravioli, cheesecake, crackers, and cereal…talk about pumpkin galore!
Why the hype?
Seasonal products are a great way to generate hype amongst consumers, and consequently, an increase in sales. Most companies in the consumables industries use this tactic, especially larger brands who have the capacity to incorporate additional flavors or scents into their product line.
Moreover, when it comes to creating seasonal products, it seems that pumpkin is the way to go. Because fall marks the start of the much-anticipated holiday season, there is a lot of buildup and enthusiasm for when it arrives. Moreover, the lull of summer holidays and seasonal summer products allows for fall products to steal the show even earlier than its actual start-date, lengthening the time for consumption. The duration of pumpkin products is fairly long, lasting from the end of August all the way through through November until after Thanksgiving. That’s at least three whole months where the pumpkin-craze remains at an all-time high!
According to GrubHub, the most pumpkin and pumpkin-spice flavored food orders are placed in October, followed by November, August, and then September. That’s right – August beats September, when fall actually begins! It appears that the earlier release dates for pumpkin products aren’t stopping consumers; they’re jumping in as soon as they can.
Not to mention, pumpkin and pumpkin-spice is also an obvious trademark for the fall season. There are no other flavors that compete for the spotlight, unlike the winter season where you can find a wide variety from gingerbread to peppermint, eggnog, apple cider and hazelnut. Moreover, spring and summer come with very few holiday/seasonal flavor correlations at all.
It’s no wonder that big brands continue to jump on board with the pumpkin trend.
While food brands may be leading the race for pumpkin and pumpkin-spice products, alcoholic beverage brands are also beginning to catch on.
Pumpkin Spice White Claw is just a myth, but there are many craft beer brands that have found a way to capture the flavor of fall into a delicious ale, including Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Ale, Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Allagash Ghoulschip, and more. Check out this list from Delish of the 23 best pumpkin beers for fall.
Additionally, though liquor brands aren’t really creating pumpkin-flavored products, many are pushing seasonal cocktails incorporating their products.
Vinepair created a list of 9 amazing pumpkin cocktail recipes to try. Whether you’re a bourbon drinker, tequila fan, or gin fanatic, you’ll find the perfect fall cocktail just for you!
This is a great way for companies to use the pumpkin trend to their advantage, without actually producing an entirely new product.
It’s concluded, for both brands and consumers: pumpkin and pumpkin-spice really is everything nice!
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