PSL joins Cheerios, Chobani and Milano with pumpkin spice offerings already filling shelves
The time is ripe for Starbucks to start bottling its pumpkin spice lattes.
The java giant revealed that it will be stocking a ready-to-drink version of its infamous fall beverage in grocery stores. The $2.79, 14-fluid-ounce bottle will be made from high quality arabica coffee with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove spices, creamy milk and pumpkin puree.
Starbucks has not yet announced the 2017 release date for its infamous PSL – it typically returns around Labor Day — but it’s still pregaming for fall with other new at-home products, such as an 11-ounce bag of ground Pumpkin Spice coffee ($9.99), and PSL K Cups already in supermarkets.
The Seattle-based coffee chain spawned the whole pumpkin spice obsession back in 2003, when it created the auburn colored, sugar-filled sip (sans actual pumpkin, ironically) that’s become its most popular seasonal drink ever.
Starbucks has sold 200 million PSLs since its launch, according to Fortune. And every August it teases its coffee cult following with a countdown to the in-store return day on social media.
The annual pumpkin spice harvest seems to hit shelves earlier and earlier in August every year. World Market already released its annual pre-ground pumpkin spice coffee with “the flavors of fresh baked pumpkin pie” for $8.99. And the pumpkin party continues with early releases from Cheerios, Chobani Greek yogurt, Milano cookies and even lip balm. The gourd glut has also produced insanely odd food products like pumpkin spice flavored butter, beer, potato chips and even Whey protein.
Whether you eat it, drink it or hate it, pumpkin spice is a $360 million market, according to the most recent data from Nielsen. And the demand for it is not slowing down. In the last few years, total sales of pumpkin-flavored foods in the U.S. grew nearly 80% between 2011 and 2015. And 37% of U.S. consumers purchased something pumpkin-flavored in 2014, according to Nielsen data.
Despite all the crazy stuff cluttering shelves, pumpkin pie filling is still dominating the pumpkin spice market with $135 million sales in 2015. And yogurt, baby food and salty snacks were other categories that saw substantial growth that same year.
But oddly enough, fresh, whole pumpkin sales dropped from $143 million in 2014 to $90 million last year, the Atlantic reports.
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