Is there any seasonal ingredient more ubiquitous than pumpkin spice? Since the start of the 2000s, the flavor has permeated virtually every aspect of American dining. Each autumn, our coffee, cereal, cookies, and even our dog food gets blasted with that patented dose of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. And each year, we consume more and more of it.
According to data from Nielsen and Forbes' own accounting of pumpkin spice latte consumption, the pumpkin spice industrial complex in 2018 is a more-than $600 million market, up from $500 million three years ago.
Driving this growth is much of what is stocked in supermarket shelves and freezers across America: pumpkin spice ice cream (which recorded $10 million in sales from August 25, 2017 to August 25, 2018, up 56% from the prior-year period), pumpkin pie filling ($130 million), and yes, even pumpkin-flavored dog food for Fido ($109,5 million, up a whopping 123% year over year). Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte sales account for about $110 million of the market, while pumpkin-flavored coffee and latte sales from other chains — like Dunkin, Tim Hortons and Peet's — drive about $10 million worth of sales each year.