Pumpkin-Spiced Products Have Increased by 234 Percent Since 2008

There are pumpkin spice air fresheners, M&Ms, tortialla chips, whiskey, candles and beer

Perrin Doniger

It’s been ten years since Starbucks introduced the pumpkin spice latte, now the chain’s most popular seasonal drink and referred to, colloquially, as the PSL. The company has sold more than 200 million cups of the sweet orange beverage, Forbes writes,

Taking heed of the wild success of this idea, other chains, including McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, and independent coffee shops started offering their own versions of the drink. Between 2008 and 2012, Quartz writes, the number of pumpkin-spiced whatevers increased by 234 percent in restaurants. And the trend doesn’t stop with coffee, Forbes says: 

Meanwhile, breweries abound with pumpkin ales, there are pumpkin M&Ms this fall, and several distilleries are making pumpkin flavored whiskey. It’s even moved over into the regular fragrance world, notes Yahoo News, with pumpkin spice lotion, shampoo and candles.

There are also pumpkin spice-flavored tortilla chips and air fresheners, Quartz adds.

Photo: Jeff Hester

At first, it seems, Starbucks was concerned about the imitation factor, since pumpkin spice lattes are just coffee and pumpkin spice-flavored syrup. But with sales of genuine spice pumpkin lattes projected generate around $80 million in revenue this fall alone, the chain isn’t so concerned anymore.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Can Starbucks do for the Croissant What it Did for Coffee? 
Start Hoarding Your Beans, Thanks to Climate Change $7 May Be the Norm

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