Pumpkin Spice: IS It Everything Nice?
Exploring the Divisiveness Behind Autumn's Most Popular Flavour
It's officially that time of year for the autumn folk, those fall fevered pumpkin eaters who'd like to skip summer and do fall twice. I know I'm one of them, and I'm hankering for my favourite season already, even though Summer's just begun!
Every year around the end of September to the end of October, it's everywhere: pumpkin spice! And, what a frenzy it causes!
From pumpkin Cheerios to pumpkin GARBANZO BEANS, everyone seems to be clamoring to join the proverbial bandwagon (hay wagon for us autumn people).
But, has every autumn lover's favourite spice gone too far? Many would say so, and it seems the issue is quite the divisive one.
Grocery chains, restaurants, and family homes all offer something pumpkiny during the holiday season. With the pumpkin being such a great symbol of the harvest, it's hard not to want to include it in a cornucopia of seasonal flavours.
Pumpkin-flavored coffee alone, which was the third best-selling pumpkin product in 2015 with $32.7 million in sales, only behind cream ($47.9 million) and pie filling ($134.8 million), is nearly a $500 million industry.
The experts, however, are saying that last year in Fall of 2017, product sales began to diminish with the massive over popularity by at least 21%. There is a very real chance that we are at "peak spice". Forums all over the internet have begun to express their disdain over the creeping reach of autumn's favourite gourd (it's actually a berry).
One user went so far as to comment,
"This fad won't be gone until the very last pumpkin is scourged from the planet".
A user from another thread regarding the backlash against the seasonal spice said, "Because it's been overdone. What used to be a nice seasonal treat is now a full-on 'pumpkin spice' onslaught. There was actually a pumpkin shortage last year (at least in the US)."
Anecdotally, my fiancé would be inclined to agree with the growing masses who feel the spice has reached too far, not unlike the vines of its progenitor's namesake.
Experts and fans alike who have begun to notice the slow decline in pumpkin spice products have also mentioned that it is difficult to market because it is associated with nostalgia and feelings. There is no particular holiday tied to the spice's popularity, unlike Christmas, whose mainstay is mint.
As long as there are crunchy leaves, harvest gourds, football games, kids going back to school and colder days, pumpkin spice will likely be able to stay relevant in today's ever-changing palette. Those who dislike the products will continue to do so, hopefully leveling out the field through lack of purchases.
I, on the other hand, will be over here with my pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin scented candles. Come at me, Bro. 🎃