Just how crazy has the fall pumpkin-flavor fad become? According to Nielsen, people even spent $12,878,380 on pumpkin-flavored dog food in the last year. Yes, we are so obsessed with pumpkin flavor that we’re forcing it on our pets.
But that’s not all. The well-known research firm decided to dig into everything pumpkin and revealed some big numbers. In 2014, 37 percent of U.S. consumers purchased a pumpkin-flavored product—that represents a 79 percent increase since 2011, building a market worth $361 million last year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top selling pumpkin-flavored item continues to be pie filling, with sales of over $134 million, but other products are gaining steam, like cream (with over $47 million in sales) and coffee (with over $32 million in sales).
But here’s the wild part: Despite our newfound adoration for the taste of pumpkins, no one wants any actual pumpkins. Sales of the real orange gourds have declined in three of the past four years, “accounting for 8.6 million fewer pumpkins sold,” said Nielsen.
But it may just be that pumpkin lovers are taking advantage of brands willing to do the hard work of stuffing pumpkins into everything for them. I, for one, was thrilled to learn that I don’t have to chop up any more whole pumpkins and put them in my dog’s food.