Pumpkin spice season is upon us — and it seems even the skeptics are giving in.
New data shows that two of the nation’s biggest coffee chains, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, are seeing massive increases in sales and foot traffic — and that directly correlates to the start of pumpkin spice season.
Starbucks dropped its fall drink menu on August 30 across the United States, which included the cult Pumpkin Spice Latte. During the rollout, the once-struggling chain had its best week of sales – already – in more than five decades.
According catering companyStarbucks acting and former active CEO Howard Schultz told investors that the company’s “highest record sales week” was the same week the pumpkin drinks were launched.
Schultz has yet to specify exactly what the number was at the time.
Additionally, foot traffic increased approximately 25.7% over a one-year period, an impressive feat considering that Starbucks doubled its investments in drive-thru and delivery initiatives to meet the consumer demand.
The PSL, which has been around since 2003, has risen in price this year by around 4%, making demand for the product even more shocking as dedicated fans aren’t backing down from their love of the pumpkin anytime soon.
Starbucks also introduced Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew alongside PSL in 2019, the same year the company estimated more than 424 million PSLs had been sold in the United States to date.
Rival chain Dunkin Donuts also saw a 9.5% increase in foot traffic the same week it launched its Fall 2022 offerings on August 17, which include its own version of a PSL, Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and a new Nutty Pumpkin Coffee.
Whether you’re a coffee fan or not, the pumpkin trend doesn’t seem to be dying anytime soon, with vendors selling everything from pumpkin pasta sauce to Cheerios to beer.
The most recent data from 2019 shows that that year the pumpkin spice industry brought in $511 million, and it’s estimated that it’s only grown since then.
Starbucks was down just over 19% year over year on Wednesday afternoon.