Americans Have a Complicated Relationship With Pumpkin Spice
Two new surveys offer conflicting findings — and possibly a solution.
How do you feel about pumpkin spice? If your immediate reaction is "I don’t know," turns out… you’re right! Two new surveys reveal something that you may inherently know: Americans appear to have a bit of a love/hate relationship with our annual pumpkin spice season. We love it because many people genuinely do love seasonal pumpkin spice products, but we hate it because plenty of people — maybe even the same people — are sick of all the hype.
This week, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters revealed the results of a survey conducted by OnePoll to determine just how much people love pumpkin spice coffee. The poll of 2,000 Americans reveals that, yes, people do like the fall flavor. In fact, 68 percent of respondents said they crave pumpkin spice before the season even starts. And on a list of the ten most exciting things about fall, "all things pumpkin spice" finished third, just barely behind "football season is back." (Maybe the poll had a lot of Browns fans?) Things get wilder from there, including numbers like 41 percent of those surveyed saying they would give up alcohol before they would give up pumpkin spice coffee, and 28 percent saying the same thing about chocolate. Meanwhile, 41 percent of those who said they plan to consume pumpkin spice this year said they would stand in line at the DMV once a month if they got pumpkin spice coffee for life in return. Under a similar premise, 35 percent of pumpkin spice lovers said they would name their child "Pumpkin Spice" for a lifetime of pumpkin spice coffee.
But another survey from the digital storytelling content platform Apester seemed to tell a conflicting story. Speaking with about 5,500 Americans, over 62 percent of these respondents said Starbucks is releasing its PSLs too early this year. Meanwhile, nearly half of those polled said the Salted Caramel Mocha is the best fall Starbucks drink; amazingly, the Pumpkin Spice Latte finished third with just over 12 percent of the vote. Finally, when asked "Have you had enough of the pumpkin spice latte trend?" the top vote-getter was "God, please take it away forever."
So what’s going on here? Clearly, pumpkin spice maintains some level of popularity or else companies wouldn’t stick with it. This isn’t pumpkin spice for charity. But at the same time, it’s hard to ignore the backlash, as well. For that reason, the most telling stat on either survey likely comes from Green Mountain’s poll. Apparently, 79 percent of respondents said they would sign a petition to support having pumpkin spice available all year long. This, it seems, would be the grand pumpkin spice compromise to make everyone happy: Allow people to have their pumpkin spice, but get rid of all the hype, too.