The spice company McCormick & Company introduced its Pumpkin Pie Spice nearly 90 years ago to give bakers a flavorful boost when making their pumpkin pies. Through the years, the popular blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice has expanded far beyond dessert to all things food and drink, including beer, cereal and even Spam. But most pumpkin spice aficionados will point to the 2003 Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (or PSL for the truly enamored) as the treat that turned the flavor profile into a bona fide obsession. To wit, a spokesperson for Starbucks told us the PSL is the company’s most popular seasonal beverage of all time, selling more than 600 million in the U.S. since the launch.
The PSL may have sparked a cultural phenomenon, but the demand for all pumpkin-spice-flavored and pumpkin-spice-scented items continues to grow. One report found that pumpkin spice product sales have increased about 47 percent over the past five years, and according to data from the analytics company NielsenIQ, U.S. sales for pumpkin-spice-flavored grocery items reached a record $236 million at the end of July 2022.
For fun ways to enjoy the pumpkin spice season, check out the following events and destinations across the country.