Why is Pumpkin Spice so popular?

It’s fall and for almost 20 years, that has been synonymous with Pumpkin Spice everything. But why?

The story of Pumpkin Spice’s popularity is actually fascinating. How does a rather obscure flavor become so popular, so ridiculed, and the touchstone of being “basic?”

Believe it or not, Pumpkin Spice as a flavor isn’t new. The flavor was created by McCormick in 1934, and was called Pumpkin Pie Spice. It contains ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice.

The flavor didn’t become a household name or a fall tradition until the early 2000s, and it owes its popularity to your favorite place to find it — Starbucks.

In 2003, Starbucks introduced the Pumpkin Spice Latte, and they didn’t introduce it because the flavor was popular or well-loved. They were looking for a unique new flavor that would be seasonal that they could put their stamp on.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte took off. The reason you see it as a flavor and scent for all things fall nowadays is rather simple — when Starbucks found success with Pumpkin Spice, other companies copied the coffee chain and rode a Pumpkin Spice wave all the way to the bank.

So, why does America love pumpkin spice? Because America loves — and falls for — marketing and advertising. Because of Starbucks and good old-fashioned marketing, Pumpkin Spice has become as synonymous with fall as eggnog at Christmas.

It has gone from a seasonal gimmick to a fall tradition. As criticized and parodied as it may be, Pumpkin Spice is probably here to stay.

More: Here’s a funny parody video about America’s new favorite fall staple.


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