How do you mark the start of fall? Is it when football begins? When the temperate drops? When the leaves start to change? For me, it starts when a limited-edition pumpkin coffee is back.
This pumpkin coffee season is especially exciting not only because of the coveted Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes (PSL) but also because Starbucks just launched their brand-new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. Cold brew’s popularity has sky rocketed over the past several years. In 2017, cold brew sales were up 80 percent from the previous year with a steady continuation of the trend since. It has been just as much of a cult favorite as pumpkin, most popular among millennials who also are the driving force behind the pumpkin spice popularity.
So how did the trend of pumpkin flavored everything begin?
Starbucks first debuted their Pumpkin Spice Latte over 15 years ago and ever since the love for pumpkin flavored foods and beverages has exploded into an obsession. You name it and it probably comes in pumpkin flavoring – ice cream, cereal, butter, energy bars, Jell-O, cream cheese and more. Other brands have also jumped on the bandwagon by making their own pumpkin flavored coffees and creamers. Some have tried to use other seasonal favorites in hopes of it catching on like pumpkin – Maple, Cider, Apple, Caramel and Cinnamon. People love pumpkin spice flavoring so much that its rapid rise in popularity is considered a phenomenon. Hard to believe, before the PSL, pumpkin was not that popular. Pumpkin pie was never in the top five of America’s favorite desserts and wasn’t something many people ate besides on Thanksgiving.
Perhaps the reason behind the success of the flavoring is that it’s nostalgic. Fall can be nostalgic for many people; it reminds them trick-or-treating with friends on Halloween, helping relatives cook in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day or tailgating for football games on the weekends. Maybe the success of pumpkin flavoring is because of the connection the flavor has to good memories, along with its great taste.
All we know is that it’s officially fall to millions of Americans around the country who have already been enjoying their pumpkin spice coffees for weeks now; and if you haven’t joined them it may be time for you to catch up, there’s only a couple months left of the seasonal favorite!