The Pumpkin Spice Craze: A Flavorful Fall Tradition


As the crisp air of autumn rolls in, so does the perennial favorite, pumpkin spice. This warm and comforting blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves has become a beloved seasonal flavor, gracing everything from pumpkin pies and lattes to a wide range of unique and delectable creations. In this blog, we explore the ever-growing popularity of pumpkin spice as a flavor, shedding light on its remarkable journey from traditional favorites to new and exciting product categories. As a Canadian flavor house, Renaissance Flavors International offers pumpkin spice flavors in liquid and powder formats, catering to the B2B market's diverse needs.

The Pumpkin Spice Phenomenon:

Pumpkin spice has forged a deep connection with consumers, turning into a phenomenon that extends well beyond the fall season. The data speaks volumes: there has been a remarkable 40% growth in global pumpkin spice-flavored products from 2021 to 2022. In the year ending July 2023, retail sales of pumpkin spice products soared to more than $802 billion, according to NielsenIQ data.

The Social Media Buzz:

One glance at social media reveals the fervor surrounding pumpkin spice. On Instagram, the hashtag #pumpkinspice boasts more than 3.5 million posts, showcasing a vast array of delectable treats. From pumpkin spice lattes and muffins to more unique creations like pumpkin spice popcorn and sweet potatoes, it's clear that consumers can't get enough of this cozy and aromatic flavor.

Pumpkin Spice on the Menu:

Restaurants have taken notice of the pumpkin spice craze, incorporating it into their menus in innovative ways. In 2022, we saw mentions of pumpkin spice in various dining categories:

  1. Fine Dining: Butternut Squash Arancini with a pumpkin spice twist at Alma Nove in Hingham, MA.
  2. Fast Casual: Pumpkin Spice Brioche French Toast at Café Gratitude in California, featuring vegan brioche, pumpkin spice oat milk, and more.
  3. Casual Dining: Pumpkin Spiced Old Fashioned at Corner Bistro in NYC, a delightful cocktail made with Woodford Reserve and house-made pumpkin spice syrup.

The Consumer Connection:

Pumpkin spice is more than just a flavor; it's a beloved tradition. According to Datassential's Flavor Tool, it ranks in the 63rd percentile among all foods and flavors, signifying that consumers adore it more than most other items. Impressively, 88% of consumers are familiar with pumpkin spice, with 46% expressing love or liking for it, and 64% having tried it.

Global Insights:

Pumpkin spice isn't just a North American delight. It's making waves globally, with North America leading the charge in pumpkin spice-flavored new product introductions. The bakery category emerges as the top product category worldwide, with coffee being the most common flavor paired with pumpkin spice.

The Takeaways:

Pumpkin spice isn't limited to beverages and pumpkin pies anymore. It's branching out into new product categories, including yogurt, confectionery items, and even flavored peanut butter. Casual dining restaurants are increasingly incorporating pumpkin spice into their menus, representing 36% of all pumpkin spice-flavored menu items. Moreover, 60% of pumpkin spice offerings appear on beverage menus. With its warm and nostalgic profile, pumpkin spice remains a fall favorite among consumers.

In Closing:

Pumpkin spice is more than just a flavor; it's a cultural phenomenon that continues to grow in popularity each year. As a Canadian flavor house, Renaissance Flavors International is at the forefront of meeting the increasing demand for pumpkin spice flavors in both liquid and powder formats. If pumpkin spice isn't already on your Flavor Radar, now is the perfect time to consider incorporating it into your product offerings to captivate the taste buds of your consumers during the cozy fall season.

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