The Pumpkin Spice Craze


Some things just aren’t meant to be year-round but that only makes the wait more fun. The pumpkin spice craze began in September 2015 when a fall-flavored drink caught the attention of teenagers and adults all around the nation. Where did this drink come from? What is this drink that Americans spend over $360 million on each year? Let’s take a look at how this popular obsession has evolved over the years.

Pumpkin spice was originally created in 1934 by McCormick, in hopes of helping people make pies that were more flavorful. Before it was put into drinks, or even canned filling, it was just a spice mix. Pumpkin spice started off as a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, but now it also includes ginger and allspice. According to many companies who produce the popular flavored item, the drink itself contains less than 2% of actual pumpkin puree. Since pumpkin is mostly made of water, it has practically no taste, which is why companies decided to replace it with spices. Although a pumpkin latte may sound plain, many people enjoy it and Starbucks makes over $100 million annually as a result. Even before Starbucks, the drink was created in the late 1990s and was popular until the early 2000s when the fad seemingly died out. Although it wasn’t very popular for around 10 years, the popularity of the drinks spiked again during 2015 and has not stopped since then. As for the seemingly unexplained surge, many people claim that it reminds them of home and the nostalgia of the fall season. Psychological science has proven that what we smell is most often linked to memories we have. Therefore, when we smell pumpkin spice, we often link it with our happiest memories of Halloween and Thanksgiving over the years. 

Although there has been a plethora of successful pumpkin spice flavored items such as M&M’s, coffee, and cereals, one company took things too far. Last August, Spam came out with a new flavor in celebration of the upcoming autumn season: pumpkin spice. Many people were disgusted, going as far as to say “the craze is officially dead thanks to Spam.” Would you try pumpkin-flavored spam or any other pumpkin spice products?