Nothing marks the return of fall quite like the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) from Starbucks. Introduced in 2003, the PSL has become the coffee giant’s most popular seasonal drink, selling roughly 424 million worldwide.
Even though the beginning of fall doesn’t technically begin until September 23, many fans of the drink point to the annual release as the unofficial start of the season. This year, Starbucks debuted the PSL on August 27, the earliest arrival for the beverage since its inception.
Too early? According to an analyst team at Nielsen, most Americans are happy with the early debut. In the last week of August 2018, sales of all products with pumpkin flavorings reached over $6.9 million, up nearly 10% from 2017. The sales of pumpkin-flavored products are at an all-time high, and industry experts expect that positive trend to continue.
As the fall phenomenon grows, brands continue to introduce new and unexpected pumpkin-flavored products to the market. Pumpkin spice-flavored yogurt? Check. Pumpkin spice-flavored Spam? Double Check (believe it or not). And non-edible pumpkin spice items are emerging too: beauty products, household items, and even deodorant.
Sixteen years ago, Starbucks created a simple pumpkin-flavored latte for their fall lineup. The rise of the cult favorite PSL has changed the way many businesses approach the fall season. Even with the overwhelming outpouring of pumpkin spice products, our society’s obsession doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Below, we’ve rounded up our team’s votes for best (and worst) pumpkin spice products hitting a store near you this fall!