Pumpkin spice: not actually pumpkin?

- It’s that time of year again: the temperature finally dips below 80 degrees, sweaters are pulled out of storage, and pumpkin-spice-everything lines store shelves.

It’s not just your lattes or muffins anymore. There are at least 43 additional foods and drinks this year with the signature flavor, ranging from rum to salsa to potato chips.

Pumpkin-flavored products made a whopping $361 million in sales last year.

But, pumpkin spice has become a polarizing trend. For some, it defines the magic of fall. But others can’t wait for the fad to be finished.

Regardless of your position, there are some facts about that ubiquitous pumpkin spice flavor that may surprise you:

  • Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte (nicknamed “PSL”) turns 13 this year and has made 200 million since first introduced.
  • The “PSL” has its own verified Twitter page with more than 100 thousand followers.
  • Neilson data shows 37 percent of U.S. consumers purchased a pumpkin flavored product last year.
  • Many of those pumpkin-products don’t contain any pumpkin at all! Pumpkin “spice” doesn’t have to include actual pumpkin. It’s what’s used to flavor pumpkin: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger.
  • A product NOT seeing a boost from the pumpkin spice trend: actual pumpkins.
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