Is this the end of pumpkin spice?
By Amanda Topper, Mintel
The following is an edited excerpt from the Mintel Blog. Read the full post
Wake up and smell the coffee: Pumpkin spice’s reign as top autumn coffee beverage may be coming to an end.
Menu mentions of pumpkin-flavored coffees declined 30% from Fall 2015-Fall 2017, according to Mintel Menu Insights. This decline was driven mainly by a few quick-service restaurants (QSRs).
Mintel’s US research on seasonal dining trends finds diners are more likely to gravitate toward salty/sweet, spicy/sweet, savory, and spicy flavored beverages during the fall and winter months.
While pumpkin-flavored coffees still appear on fall seasonal menus, operators are also expanding their fall seasonal coffee options to include non-pumpkin flavors.
Recently launched flavors include:
- Crème brûlée
- Salted caramel
- Maple pecan
- Smoked butterscotch
- Chestnut praline
Despite the expansion of fall seasonal coffee flavors, many operators recognize the affinity some consumers have toward the pumpkin spice flavor.
Four in five consumers say they look forward to fall seasonal items the most.
WHAT WE THINK
Good or bad, pumpkin spice is here to stay, with key operators likely to continue offering the ‘classic’ flavor during the fall season.
However, as these declines show, there is room for additional flavors that can appeal to consumers that are not among the pumpkin spice faithful.
Several recently launched fall limited-time offers (LTOs) provide a slightly different take on familiar flavors, such as caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch, offering consumers a sense of indulgence and adventure. Additionally, these menu items are bound to create buzz due to their limited availability.
Operators should consider offering a variety of fall seasonal coffee flavors, featuring new and classic options, to appeal to a wide consumer base.
Amanda Topper is the Associate Director of Foodservice Research, responsible for overseeing all of Mintel’s foodservice offerings, as well as providing insight and competitive analysis across scheduled deliverables, and client and industry presentations.
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