Pumpkin Spice Takeover


Media by Aleena Shaik (she/her)

As the fall season prevails, the amount of pumpkin-themed products in grocery stores increases. As pictured, Trader Joe’s have been advertising these products with a fall-themed display.

Pumpkin spice is a flavor loved and despised by many. Some wait in anticipation for pumpkin spice products to hit the stores, while others roll their eyes, not understanding the “hype” of the popular flavor.

Pumpkin spice is a mix of ground ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. 

The spice mix has been a phenomenon in the food industry for years, with hundreds of brands coming out with pumpkin spice flavored products every fall. 

Edward Bolton, chemistry teacher, said everyone has gone into a “pumpkin spice insanity”. 

“I don’t think anyone actually really loves pumpkin spice, but it’s part of being in the clique,” Bolton said. “I think people want to belong, which is why pumpkin spice is so popular.” 

Though he does not dislike pumpkin flavor, Bolton said there should not be such an abundance of pumpkin spice products sold during the fall season. 

“There should be one product with pumpkin spice flavoring,” Bolton said. “That should be pumpkin pie. Nothing else.” 

Voices such as Bolton’s are often not heard, however, as pumpkin spice hits the U.S. by storm every fall. One popular commodity in this flavor is Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL). 

Spoon University reported that the drink first appeared in fall of 2003, when Starbucks first introduced it to stores in Vancouver and Washington DC. Since then, the popular drink has been a crowd-favorite. 

Senior Jack Berry, Starbucks employee, said Starbucks has been significantly busier since the PSL rerelease, but the drink itself is not as big of a deal as people make it out to be. 

“As much as people love the PSL, other people love other things that are year round,” Berry said. 

According to Starbucks, the PSL is Starbucks’ most popular seasonal drink. With more than 200 million PSLs being sold from 2003 to 2013, the drink is getting more and more popular every year. 

Many, like Jack Cason, sophomore, anticipate the drink’s arrival.Cason said the feeling of fall that pumpkin spice brings is a reason many like the PSL. 

“I love Halloween, so pumpkin spice makes me feel like I’m in the spirit of fall,” Cason said. “It just tastes good.”

There is some negative connotation with drinking PSLs. Cason said people shouldn’t be judged for liking the PSL. 

“I believe you like what you like, and you should let people be happy for liking something,”  Cason said.