With the weather cooling down, pumpkin flavors have begun to pop up everywhere. Each fall, pumpkin coffee returns, along with pumpkin muffins, bread, pies, gum, chapstick, body lotions, air fresheners and hand sanitizers. Although pumpkin flavored products are often the first signs of fall, the marketing craze has gotten out of hand.
Since the holiday season is beginning, stores will be stocking up on different seasonal items for the next few months. Yes, about a week after Halloween, the carved jack-o- lanterns will all be a rotting mess on the front porch and the pumpkin flavors and scents will begin to fade away. But as companies liquidate their Fall or Halloween themed products, the Winter products will be right around the corner. Joseph Brownlow, a Junior at Weber State University, believes that these add to “the spirit of the season” even if it is a marketing technique to make companies more money. These novelties, and their tastes and smells, add something to the holidays.
The Sept. 30 edition of The Week reported that “Starbucks has sold more than 200 million pumpkin spice lattes since introducing the autumnal beverage” which was “inspired a boom in pumpkin spice products.” Because of this popularity, making everything either pumpkin-flavored or pumpkin-scented has become a tool to promote products during the season. Some companies stretch to include these flavors, like Pizza Pie Café who is serving a pumpkin dessert pizza during the Fall.
According to Kennedy Pobanz, a senior at Weber State University, “The only reason everyone goes to Starbucks is because it’s trendy.” Starbucks’ trendiness is a big selling factor and since it is selling, companies are making more and more of it. Even though people understand that pumpkin spicing products is a marketing technique, it doesn’t affect the popularity of these products. The Week said that in just Trader Joe’s alone, “more than 70 pumpkin items” are available during the fall season.
There’s nothing wrong with craving the signature trends of Fall. Pumpkin patches and corn mazes are fun places to go during October, but people can go overboard during this season because everything is so limited and time sensitive. Brownlow said “Just because it’s seasonal, I’m more enticed to buy it because it’s just right in front of your eyes.” Though Brownlow realizes that this is an advertising method, he later said, “embarrassingly I have to admit I did buy some pumpkin scented soap yesterday. It’s so worth it.” Because people do believe that stocking up on seasonal products is “worth it,” companies will continue to dust off the pumpkin spice each Fall and put it back on the shelf.