There’s a trope, often spread on social media this time of year, that young women really love wearing scarves, donning knee-high boots and drinking pumpkin spice lattes as soon as the first leaves start to change.
And as a young(ish) woman, I have to tell you — it’s all true. I have a drawer full of scarves, a closet full of boots and pumpkin spice creamer in my fridge all autumn long.
The scarves and boots may be gender specific, but as a new survey shows, the passion for pumpkin spice likely isn’t.
The survey, conducted by Spice Islands, showed that during the fall, 46 percent of respondents said they consume more pumpkin spice products than chocolate. That’s nearly half!
The survey included 5,000 American consumers aged 18-75 and focused on all things pumpkin spice, which is typically a blend of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and sometimes allspice.
The results also showed that 66 percent of Americans consume one to three pumpkin spice products per week. And 69 percent of Americans polled said they have consumed a pumpkin spice product in the last year.
If that’s not convincing enough, 2018 data from Nielsen also showed that “annual sales of ‘pumpkin’ flavored products (i.e., products where the flavor noted on the packaging contains the word ‘pumpkin’) reached $488.8 million in the 52 weeks ended Aug. 25, 2018.
It’s a pumpkin spice world and we’re all just living in it — at least in the fall anyway.
And food makers have noticed. A quick Amazon search brings a number of options to satisfy autumn cravings, including:
Blue Diamond Pumpkin Spice Almonds
Pumpkin Spice RX Bar
Werther's Original Pumpkin Spice Soft Caramels
Lovely's Pumpkin Spice Caramels
Palmer's Pumpkin Spice Cups
Ghirardelli Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Caramel Squares
Basically, if you can imagine a pumpkin spice version of something, chances are someone else has already made it. In fact, Nielsen data shows that even pets are getting in on the fall flavor.
“For the 12 months ended Aug. 25, 2018, sales of pumpkin flavored dog food grew 123.7 percent compared to the same time last year,” the research company says.
And pumpkin spice season seems to be creeping more and more into the summer months.
This year, Starbucks released its famous Pumpkin Spice Latte earlier than ever — Aug. 27. Surely, that’s falls into what most people consider summertime. Compare that to the drink’s debut in 2003 on Oct. 10!
But it must be noted that a large part of pumpkin spice’s appeal is that most of the products are only available for a few months each year. It’s just long enough for us to get into the post-summer spirit, but not so long that we get sick of it.
I know how tempting it is for food companies to think that more is more when it comes to good things, but nobody wants pumpkin spice appetizers at their Fourth of July celebrations.
Afterall, there’s a reason people only prefer it to chocolate during select months of the year. Like all of life’s little joys — pumpkin spice is best appreciated in moderation.