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Consumers are apparently consuming a lot of pumpkin drinks

Starbucks had the best week in its history after introducing its fall menu and Dunkin’ had stronger traffic, too.
Starbucks pumpkin products
Starbucks' fall lineup led to a record sales week for the chain. / Photo courtesy of Starbucks.

Coffee consumers’ pumpkin obsession is apparently growing.

Starbucks introduced its fall lineup in late August, which included its annual Pumpkin Spice Latte and the increasingly popular Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. The result was a record week for the Seattle-based coffee giant.

“Our highest, record sales week in our 51-year history was two weeks ago,” Howard Schultz, interim CEO of Starbucks, told investors last week.

It wasn’t just higher prices. Foot traffic at the Seattle-based coffee giant surged 25.7% the week after the launch of that fall menu, according to the retail foot traffic firm Placer.ai.

By contrast, traffic last year increased 16.2% the week after the launch. In 2019, before the pandemic, it increased 14%.

Dunkin’ customers weren’t quite as eager for that chain’s pumpkin products but the company still attracted more customers after launching them. Traffic increased 9.5% the week after it launched its products on Aug. 17, compared to 8.2% in 2021 and 6.7% in 2019.

Consumers have long demonstrated an affinity for pumpkin-spice coffee and other beverages, not to mention other products ranging from pancakes to ice cream.

The items have become popular on social media, which has only intensified demand for them in recent years.

Starbucks has sold its Pumpkin Spice Latte for over two decades, and its autumn introduction has become an annual industry event. Its popularity has led most of its competitors to offer similar products, making it a virtual necessity for a coffee chain to offer them.

The chain added the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew four years ago to its lineup. That beverage now outsells the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

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