Why Pumpkin-Flavored Everything is Here to Stay

By Brian Harris

pumpkin-space-cpg

If it seems like the calendar flipped to September and everyone started talking about pumpkin-flavored products, it’s not your imagination. Get ready for the great pumpkin invasion, as coined by Nielsen.

Since 2011, sales of pumpkin products have grown 79% and last year, sales accounted for more than $361 million. A large slice of the pie is-- well, it’s actually pie filling, with $135 million in sales. As seen in the graphic below, however, there are a variety of consumer packaged goods (CPGs) contributing to the sales.

nielsen-top-10-pumpkin-products

Interestingly enough, sales of fresh pumpkins have been declining in three of the last four years, while indulgent treats, dips and sweets continue to steadily increased. We see evidence of this trend in Hostess fall product lineup of Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes and Maple Glazed Donettes.

But pumpkin-flavored cookies and cakes are merely grazing the surface of fall-flavored CPGs.

How big is pumpkin? Big enough for People to compile “The Comprehensive Guide to Pumpkin Spice Flavored Foods.” I’ve organized some standouts by category:

Breakfast Foods

Kellogg’s Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts
Quaker Pumpkin Spice Instant Oatmeal
Pumpkin Spice Mini Wheats
Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax

Pumpkin Spice Coffee

Keurig McCafe Pumpkin Spice Coffee
Bailey’s Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer
Starbucks Instant Pumpkin Spice Latte

Don’t forget the Baileys Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer!

Bakery

Keebler’s Fudge Striped Pumpkin Spice
Nestle Toll House Pumpkin Cookie Dough
Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread
Pepperidge Farms Pumpkin Spice Milanos
Nonni’s Pumpkin Spice Biscotti
Pumpkin Spice Oreos

Confectionery

Nestle Pumpkin Flavored Morsels
Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses
Pumpkin Spice Latte M&Ms
Just Born Inc. Pumpkin Spice Peeps 
Nestle Toll House Pumpkin Cookie Dough

Dairy

Chobani Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt
Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! Pumpkin Cheesecake
Ben & Jerry’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

Salty Snacks

Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds
Boulder Canyon Pumpkin Pie Flavored Chips 
Food Should Taste Good Harvest Pumpkin Tortilla Chips

Cheer to Pumpkin Beer! 

I was surprised to see pumpkin beer in August this year, but an earlier release makes sense when the general consensus among brewers is that consumers stop drinking pumpkin beer around Halloween. According to market research firm IRI, seasonal beer makes up 15 percent to 25 percent of the more than $19.6 billion in annual craft beer sales.

Pumpkin Alternatives

Don’t like pumpkin but still want to get into the fall season? People also profiles these flavors for “pumpkin spice haters”:

Apple Cinnamon (of course!)
Brown Butter
Candy Corn
Chai
Pecan Pie
Salted Caramel
Snickerdoodle

...But did I mention there’s such a thing as Khalua Pumpkin Spice Coffee Liquer? OK, I’ll stop now.

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