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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

At some point in society, fall stopped being fall and became the season of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s kaleidoscopic, what once was a fall drink turned into this phenomenon that became a staple for the fall-to-winter seasons to come.

But the Pumpkin Spice Latte wasn’t always the “It girl”, 20 years ago, Starbucks’s Peppermint Mocha was their first smash hit for seasonal beverages.

Peter Dukes, who had led the espresso beverage team at the time, had hoped to create a blockbuster drink for the season of falling leaves.

While the team had worked on an abundance of combinations, chocolate and caramel being the most popular, there was something about the uniqueness of pumpkin that had them keep it on the list.

However, in 2003, there was an extensive amount of testing before this refined recipe made its way to the official menu. It took three whole months before they knew it was the right combination. All that was left was the title that would be luminary to the business.

The first week of the sought-after beverage had managers beaming with excitement at the success of the officially titled Pumpkin Spice Latte, and by 2010, more and more departments grabbed onto the idea ranging from candles to food items like “Spam: Pumpkin Spice”.

Since then, Pumpkin Spice has departed itself from just the idea of a drink and created its own spirit for the fall season. It’s the ultimate cultural icon and is emblematic of fall as late September and November approach.

It’s this global obsession that people can not get enough of and it’s incredibly divergent since there has been an evolution of the drink, such as Starbucks dropping their Iced Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte this year which has been a major success this season.

It’s almost like a tradition, it would be great if it was a year-round product, yet something about it being exclusively for fall is what makes it feel special.

Even if you aren’t a big Pumpkin Spice/pumpkin fan, it wouldn’t feel like fall without the presence of anything pumpkin-flavored.

Economically, for the last five years, every season, sales for the Pumpkin Spice Latte increased 47 percent and reached to about $236 million in sales 

One main reason why the drink may not be an all-year menu item is the lack of products that can be provided for the global phenomenon. Pumpkin Spice is made with pumpkin as well as spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and with this high demand, these ingredients may not always be in stock.

At one point, Starbucks had tried to keep the latte longer than just one season, until in 2005, there was a declarative “pumpkin emergency”.

Overall, this highly anticipated superstar is awaited by consumers all year. As much as it evokes this nostalgic feeling of how family fun is just around the corner for the month of December, it brings pep to our already capitalist economy and we fall for it everytime.

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