Seasonal promotions bring out pros & cons of all things pumpkin spice

POSTED BY Greg Keating ON Oct 2, 2014 6:00:00 AM

"Seasonal creep" is always starting earlier with, Starbucks, this year, bending to customer demand and offering seasonal drinks before fall has even begun. This trend is also seen for holiday shopping, with a 40% of holiday shoppers saying they begin shopping for holiday merchandise at least by October.


New Apple devices aren’t the only things making news these days: Americans’ obsession with all things pumpkin spice is also creating a whole lot of buzz. When Starbucks released its beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte during the warm days of early September, the cult-favorite flavor started making headlines.

The proliferation of this seasonal seasoning — from pumpkin spice Oreo cookies to Thomas’ pumpkin spice English muffins to pumpkin spice JELLO — adds to online conversations among #PSL supporters and detractors. The Chicago Tribune calls the fall flavor “downright sinister” and Vox wonders if we’ve reached “peak pumpkin-spice.” And late night host Jimmy Kimmel is jumping on the trend with the introduction of the world’s first pumpkin spice iPhone.

For retailers, this kind of seasonal “creep” — pumpkin spice in September, Halloween costumes right after Labor Day and even snowmen and Christmas tree ornaments in October — is all due to customer demand. It’s the same type of consumer behavior that drives some companies to open on Thanksgiving Day. For retailers, there’s no reward in trying to drive early sales if customers aren’t going to bite. Why are we seeing seasonal lattes before the leaves start falling? My guess is that Starbucks understands their customer base well enough to know that the early introduction would be a hit.

Read more from the source: NRF

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