Are you a fan of pumpkin spice? The fall season also marks the arrival of the fall flavor, which seems to come earlier and earlier every year! Starbucks, home of the iconic pumpkin spice latte, released its fall menu way back on August 24, when most of us were still sweating through record-hot temperatures.

Pumpkin isn’t the only fall flavor, of course. Apple, cinnamon, maple and caramel are among the popular seasonal trends. But the pumpkin spice trend that began several decades ago is still booming today, and you can find the flavor and scent in everything from food to air fresheners to cosmetics.

Can you believe Starbucks’ PSL, as the beloved drink is affectionately referred to, made its debut in 2003? While it seems like pumpkin spice is everywhere, all the time, some data suggests that it might be declining in popularity.

Pumpkin Spice Sales

NielsenIQ research found that retail sales of pumpkin-flavored products increased 15% compared to last year. For the 52-week period that ended in July 2023, U.S. sales reached $803 million- that’s a lot of pumpkin products! It’s also a 42% increase over the same period in 2019.

But, the same research found that the actual number of products purchased fell by 1.5% during that same period, and it’s the second year in a row that unit sales dropped. So, while total sales dollars might be higher- perhaps due to higher product prices- the amount of products sold was lower.

Another interesting data point that NielsenIQ found: the number of pumpkin-flavored products on retail shelves has also declined for the past few years. This doesn’t include items sold at restaurants or coffee shops, but it’s still a trend that researchers have noticed.

According to the same Marketwatch article, the research company Circana also found that consumers are reaching for pumpkin spice products less than in previous years.

What Do You Think?

I’m curious to hear what you think about pumpkin and pumpkin spice-flavored items, from lattes to food to candles and more! Do you like this popular fall flavor? Do you prefer other seasonal flavors? Let me know in the comments!

If you’re a panel member, don’t forget to scan your seasonal purchases. If you buy a latte or something else that doesn’t have a barcode, check out our recent video about non-barcoded items for assistance in reporting these purchases.

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