Thursday, September 22, 2016 is officially the first day of Fall. But we have been fully engulfed by pumpkin spice fever since August and the famous Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has been available this year since September 6th. The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has just turned 13 and is their most popular seasonal beverage.
Don’t think for a minute that Starbucks is the only place to get your pumpkin spice fix. Retailers everywhere are hopping on the pumpkin bandwagon. Are you included? Make sure you are by supplying these pumpkin seekers with at least a few of the options from the vast array of options available from distributors.
Even if you’re not a retailer, you can get your Pumpkin Spice fix at home using some of the receipes below.
“Pumpkin spice is a combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger and sometimes actual pumpkin.”
–Jayne Orenstein, The Washington Post
Pumpkin Spice History
1796: According to the New York Daily News, the first reference to what we now know as “pumpkin spice” can be traced back to 1796. That’s the year Amelia Simmons published “American Cookery,” regarded as the nation’s first cookbook. In it, she includes a recipe for “pompkin pudding,” a pie made with stewed pumpkin and spiced with ginger and nutmeg.
1960: Zagat indicates that McCormick Spice capitalized on the popularity of the spices in pumpkin pie, releasing a catch-all blend called “Pumpkin Pie Spice” that includes cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.
1990: Pumpkin spice makes its first appearance in a non-food setting, as a candle scent at the Santa Fe store Wildchase. 
1996: Pumpkin spice lands in coffee for the first time at Home Roast Coffee in Tampa, Flordia–the shop serves what they call “pumpkin spice beans.” 
2004: After much debate, Starbucks decides on its new seasonal drink: the Pumpkin Spice Latte. The drink does not actually contain any pumpkin, but it’s a huge hit anyway. Starbucks sales rise 11% thanks to the PSL. 
2005-2015: Pumpkin-flavored items are showing up on 6% of all restaurant menus in the U.S. in 2005. That number jumps up to 14.5% by 2015. 
Trends in Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin-flavored items are everywhere today. Customers can literally eat pumpkin products for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks, and drinks. I feel a daily challenge coming on–to eat only pumpkin products for an entire day! Is it possible?
Pumpkin variations of products currently trending include:
- Tea, coffee, creamer, and syrup
- Cream cheese, yogurt, butter, cheese
- Ice cream, chocolate, gelato, cookies
- Peanut butter, flavored nuts
- Bread, cereal, breakfast bars, oatmeal
- Beer, vodka
Try at Home Recipes for Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin Moscow Mule from Rimann Liquors
- 2 oz Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka
- ½ oz lime juice
- 4 oz Gosling’s Ginger Beer
- Lime slice and mint sprig for garnish
Pumpkin Spice Muffins from Liv for Cake
- 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 package Spice cake mix
- 3/4 cup water
- Topping (optional): 1 Tbs sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat over to 350°F. Grease muffin tins or line with cupcake liners. Combine all ingredients together in medium bowl. Scoop into prepared pan. Combine topping and sprinkle on top. Bake 15-18 minutes.
*Feeling creative–whip up some cream cheese frosting!
Pumpkin Spice Latte Overnight Oats from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- 1/4 cup brewed coffee, chilled
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 Tbs plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2-3 tsp of sweetener of choice (honey, stevia, sugar, etc.)
- 1 Tbs chia seeds
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 tsp mini chocolate chips, cacao nips, or pepitas, optional
- Additional milk, if needed
In a bowl or jar, combine all of the ingredients except the oats and stir until combined and smooth. Add the oats and stir until moistened. Place in the refrigerator overnight. If desired, stir in additional milk to desired consistency before serving, and sprinkle on toppings.
As an owner/operator, we would love to hear from you. What pumpkin products are hot in your store this year? Which products do you think will hit shelves next?