Aaah Autumn…My favorite season.
The time of sweet cider, cool weather, the crunch of leaves beneath your boots, holidays overloaded with food and cheer. Yet over the past few years, a very specific scent, taste, and some may even say ideology has swept the country.
Yes. It’s damn near impossible to walk into a coffee shop, chain restaurant or even grocery stories this time of year without seeing at least one uber-excited pumpkin junkie getting their fix.
If you say "pumpkin spice latte" in the mirror 3 times a white girl in yoga pants will appear & tell you all her favorite things about fall.
— Zac Galifianakis (@ZacGalifianakis) September 28, 2013
Very true Parody Account Zach Galifianakis, very true.
Now, pumpkin pie or a dash of pumpkin with other spices…Sure, totally fine. I can dig it.
And the obsession doesn’t end at food. Nooooo…pumpkin has moved onto: sodas, lotions, shampoos, candles …on and on and on it goes.
We’re tasting our shampoo now? AWESOME?!
So…How did the Pumpkin Craze come to be?
Well, Starbucks has definitely played a major role
10 years ago, Starbucks introduced the pumpkin spice latte or PSL for the social media savvy. The American global coffee company made it available only a few months out of the year, promoted it heavily via commercials, social media — there have been over 29K tweets featuring #pumpkinspice since August 2012!!
Mix those epic PR strategies with an obsessive society that’ll wait in line in hours just so they can be the first to get something – phones, drinks, shoes, cronuts – and you’ve got a pretty good start to a food fad.
But a FOOD FAD can’t rely on marketing mastery alone
…well not all the time anyway. The TASTE matters too.
Pumpkin (Spice)’s claim to fame isn’t just it’s overly publicized but short-lived time in our coffee shops and grocery stores.
It tastes pretty good too – whether you’re into Starbucks’ pumpkin sauce (made of milk, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, etc…) or some legit ingredients.
Along with the essential pumpkin – a PS food/drink will usually have a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Each of of these can be found in a variety of cultural dishes.
So you may not specifically think of Fall when you drink a PSL or slather it all over your skin, but there’s probably something you find familiar about it!
- Are you or are you not on board the pumpkin-spiced train?
- What is your favorite Pumpkin Spiced item?
- …Or what is one you can’t wrap your head around?
- What are some other food crazes you’re into?