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Lessons to learn from the “pumpkin spice” boom

Where does a phenomenon like the “pumpkin spice” craze begin? For food labeling brands looking to break out in a big way, the answer is important. 

For Starbucks, the company whose pumpkin spice latte initiated the fad flavor, it began as an idea: blending the tastes of autumnal treats like pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie to create a drink. As one of several flavors that was considered for its fall lineup, nothing about it stuck out as having more potential than any other new flavor the coffee chain might pilot. Nevertheless, the rollout more than a decade ago created a boom that’s rarely seen in the food and beverage market. 

“This year, Starbucks celebrates the tenth anniversary of the drink, which now goes by the ‘PSL’ shorthand, and has its own hashtag on Twitter,” writes Christopher Mims of Quartz. “The flavor itself is now so popular that incidence of pumpkin spice—that distinctive mix of pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon—in food served by restaurants increased 234% from 2008 to 2012.”

The surprise popularity of pumpkin spice syrup led to ingenious marketing tie-ins on social media and other advertising platforms. As such, brands with a great new idea on the rise should be ready to capitalize on its success to extend its run. More than 10 years later, the PSL shows no signs of slowing down. 

Addressing unexpected successes in dynamic marketing requires brands to adopt flexible and adaptable marketing strategies, like in-house printing. This gives them the freedom to ramp up production, manipulate their brand messaging and be responsive to consumer demands. Contact us today to learn more about our selection of color label printers for companies in the food, wine and beverage industries. 

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