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The student news site of Stockbridge High School


The student news site of Stockbridge High School


The Pumpkin Spice pandemic

The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte finds wide success during the fall season
Maggie Jones
Senior Isabelle Queen enjoys a sweet pumpkin coffee while studying in the library.

Fall brings changing leaves, chunky sweaters, cool breezes and football games streaming in the living room. However, fall also brings a booming economy focusing on the commercialism of one main product: pumpkin spice. 

According to Nielsen Holdings, the pumpkin spice industry had a reported worth of 511 million dollars in 2019. Ranging from cookies and cake to even dog treats and trash bags, pumpkin spice products have taken over the economy in September and October, none more so than the drink starting it all: the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

In 2003, after meeting extreme success through their holiday release of the peppermint mocha, Starbucks decided to brainstorm a fall drink in the hopes of finding similar results. Thus, the pumpkin spice latte was born. Since its release 20 years ago, hundreds of millions of pumpkin spice lattes have been sold as reported by Starbucks. 

Secretary Kim Killinger regularly enjoys the Pumpkin Spice Latte along with the Apple Crisp Macchiato and the Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew.

“I probably have at least two coffees a week, maybe more depending on my week,” Killinger said.

Killinger is only one of many consumers frequenting coffee shops during autumn for the seasonally released fall menu.

We sell several hundred pumpkin spice lattes a day; I would say at the very least 100,” said a Starbucks manager working in the Lansing branch.”

Along with Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Bigby have also seen similar success with their seasonal menu. They have followed suit with pumpkin-flavored drinks like the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew from Bigby and the Nutty Pumpkin Coffee from Dunkin Donuts. 

Senior Samantha Nothnagel works at Dunkin Donuts, and she has firsthand experience with this big, seasonal rush.

“Work can get very hectic when it’s pumpkin spice season,” Nothnagel said. “We have to work nonstop to make our customers happy.”

The pumpkin spice industry has grown exponentially in the last two decades since the release of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. The craze for the addictive, sweet flavor continues to grow, and it is unlikely that this national sensation will slow down anytime soon.

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About the Contributor
Maggie Jones
Maggie Jones, Reporter
This is Maggie’s first year joining the UNCAGED family. Maggie is the President of the National Honor Society and the co-captain of her volleyball team. After high school, Maggie plans on attending either Central Michigan University or Saginaw Valley University to pursue a Master’s degree in either Dietetics or Occupational Therapy. In her free time, Maggie enjoys reading, hiking, babysitting her two angels, working at the library, and spending time with her family.
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