Here’s why pumpkin spice lattes are so popular: It’s ‘very simple economics,’ say the experts

The pumpkin spice latte has returned, and this seasonal beverage can teach us a great deal about consumer behavior and economics.

Starbucks introduced the pumpkin spice latte in 2003, and the “PSL” quickly became the company’s most popular seasonal beverage, selling over 600 million since its inception and inspiring its adoption by rival coffee chains and local cafes.

The pumpkin-spice craze has spread to ice cream, craft beer, baked goods, yogurt, and even dog food. According to Nielsen data, the industry was worth $511 million in 2019, up 4.7% from the previous year.

And companies are releasing pumpkin-spiced products weeks before the autumn season officially begins. For instance, Krispy Kreme began selling pumpkin-spiced donuts and beverages on August 8, the earliest date ever.

A few months later, the flavor is no longer present.

What’s up?

Jadrian Wooten, a professor of economics at Virginia Tech, stated, “It’s very basic economics.”

Wooten stated, “We wouldn’t want it if it were available year-round.” “Companies take these items from us and return them to us.”

Because they take it away, we desire it more in the future.

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