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America's Obsession with the Pumpkin Spice Latte
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America's Obsession with the Pumpkin Spice Latte

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pumpkin-spice-latte Love it or hate it, pumpkin spice is most likely here to stay – at least for a while. And no matter where you look when you’re out and about, pumpkin spice is everywhere: it’s a hair color, it’s being whipped into special limited offerings of conventional peanut butter, and even M&Ms now come in Pumpkin Spice Latte flavor. It’s become an American obsession of sorts, and one that arguably began with either the pumpkin spice latte or pumpkin cheesecake, and then spread to air fresheners, candles, and a host of other edible and non-edible consumer packaged goods. But why all the craziness? Read on for our quick guide to this ongoing obsession with the pumpkin spice latte, and other things pumpkin spice.

What Exactly Is Pumpkin Spice?

The development of the pumpkin spice latte as a beverage is generally attributed to a certain Seattle coffee chain named Starbucks. The story goes that back in the early two-thousands, the well-known coffee chain was looking to extend the excitement of their holiday drink specials into the fall, and landed upon the pumpkin spice latte as a way to do just that. The drink’s initial launch met with so much success, that Starbucks almost couldn’t keep up with demand for the combination of espresso, milk, milk-foam, whipped cream, and three traditional pumpkin pie spices.

Current Popularity of and Obsession with the Beverage

As mentioned, the pumpkin spice latte launched to wide-spread popular acclaim. And despite its detractors, it has continued to grow in popularity over the last decade or so. Indeed, a cursory search for “pumpkin spice” online yielded more than fifteen thousand products associated with the keywords. And now, just about every coffee shop in America is either selling pumpkin spice lattes seasonally, year-round, or else they’re missing out on profits if they refuse to get on the bandwagon.

The Flavor of the Future Is Pumpkin?

Given the nigh-ridiculous popularity of the simple combination of coffee, milk, whipped cream, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon, it’s easy to see why manufacturers of other foodstuffs (and hair dyes, etc.) have rushed to jump on the seasonal bandwagon. Now that nearly every conceivable food has been converted, albeit seasonally, into some hybridized version of pumpkin spice latte, the last frontier for pumpkin spice may be in its use as a color. The aforementioned coffee-inspired hair dye may only be the first in a long line of pumpkin spice-colored products to come! Love it or hate it, you won’t be able to get away from pumpkin spice, during the holidays anyway, for at least the next few years. And if you love it, then it’s time to celebrate! The season of the specialty drink is upon us!


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