The Power of Pumpkin Spice
September 24, 2015
September 24, 2015
It’s late September, the temperature has finally dropped to the low 70s and the basic New Englander in me is brimming with joy that fall has arrived. Oversized sweaters, leggings and boots combined with patterned scarves are just around the corner.
As I sit here (in my oversized sweater), the PR girl in me is fascinated by what a cultural phenomenon autumn has become. And if there’s one element of fall that’s dominated the marketplace even more than boots and scarves it is, of course, pumpkin spice.
According to Nielsen, in 2013 alone, pumpkin-spice flavored products garnered nearly $350 million in sales at U.S. retail outlets and the use of the flavor in beverages grew 130 percent between 2006 and 2014. Even Chobani had the most successful launch in its history last year with the introduction of its limited edition pumpkin spice Greek yogurt. (Sounds gross, right? I tried it. It’s actually not bad.)
What is it about pumpkin that has made it such a power product? Well it just goes to show the power of marketing. Starbucks launched its infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte in in 2003. Fast forward 12 years, and there are more than 92,000 Facebook posts about “pumpkin spice,” a Starbucks Twitter handle dedicated to @TheRealPSL, which has more than 100,000 followers and an Instagram account with nearly 18,000 followers.
Many other major brands like Dunkin Donuts have followed suit with promotional tactics, such as the creation of a Snapchat geo-filter around the seasonal arrival of its pumpkin products. As noted in this Forbes piece, part of the pumpkin spice craze stems from people’s love for “limited edition” products. Knowing that this flavor is seasonal makes everyone want to enjoy the pumpkin products as much as possible while they’re available.
Regardless of your passion (or lack thereof) for pumpkin, there’s no denying that this fruit takes the pumpkin-spiced cake for incredible marketing. And don’t forget to show your local pumpkins some love this fall – here’s Boston Magazine’s list of best orchards to try out!