If it’s fall, it’s time for pumpkin versions of nearly every food product you could think to put in your grocery cart. The trend was fueled by the success of the Pumpkin Spiced Latte in 2003. Since then, the success of that and other pumpkin flavored offerings have become an official marker for fall and an important profit driver, giving shoppers an easy way to get into the season (and spend money in the process).The amount we spend on everything from lattes to dog food is eye-popping. Take a look at the numbers behind the pumpkins, and get inspired. This trend didn’t really exist 15 years ago -- meaning the next trend is just waiting to get started.
What we’ve already spent on Pumpkin Products This Year
According to Nielsen, we have already spent an eye-popping $384 million on pumpkin-flavored products in 2016 -- and that number only cover sales up to July. The research company says most of that spend comes from ten categories: Cream, coffee, bread, baking mixes, pie filling, dog food, yogurt, cereal, fresh desserts and ice cream.
What We Spend on Pumpkin Flavored Cereal
If you had the sense your cereal aisle had doubled down on pumpkin this year, you’re not imagining things. This year saw the launch of pumpkin versions of three classic cereals, SpecialK, Cheerios and Life, joining seasonal bets like pumpkin-flavored Frosted Mini Wheats. In the last year, Nielsen says that ready-to-eat cereal saw a whopping 350% dollar increase, reaching $8.5 million in sales.
What We Spend on Pumpkin Pie Creamer
Want a touch of autumn in your morning brew? So do a lot of people. In 2014, we spent nearly $48 million on pumpkin flavored creamer -- around the GDP of a small Polynesian nation (more specifically, the GDP of Tuvalu.)
What a Pumpkin Latte Buyer Spends
Retailers offer seasonal beverages for a very good reason -- they boost an overall spend. Last year, research firm NPD found that those who bought a pumpkin spice latte, had an average check of nearly $8, while those whose orders weren’t flavored by squashes of any sort spent around 17% less. That said, for all our talk about the pumpkin latte, the NPD found that for most people, one was enough. In its analysis, most people who bought it didn’t come back for a second that season (making the importance of new seasonal offerings all the more important).
What We've Spent on Pumpkin-Flavored Dog Food
If we can enjoy a pumpkin spiced latte, why shouldn’t our pets also enjoy the season? Pet spending reached record spend numbers this year and our love for pumpkin probably didn’t hurt any. Nielsen says we spent close to $13 million on pumpkin flavored dog food in 2014.
What a Single Pumpkin Costs
This growing industry might be a big surprise to the humble pumpkin itself. While sales have increased since 2013, those increases have levelled off, according to Nielsen. Additionally, the USDA finds that its advertised retail price is slipping slightly. For instance, those sold during the second week in September this year clocked in at $4.45 -- a 24% dip from that period last year.