For fall fans, and coffee connoisseurs, it’s the question of the year: When will Starbucks have Pumpkin Spice Lattes? By way of the Starbucks menu, August 28 must be the first day of autumn, because Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino are available for the first time in 2018 today.
No, your calendar is not playing tricks on you. The Tuesday, August 28 release date is the earliest that the popular chain has ever made the popular flavored coffee drink available. But don’t blame the Seattle-based coffee chain for prematurely ending summer, that honor goes to Dunkin Donuts, which fired the first shots of the PSL season yesterday. Still, this is Starbucks earliest-ever public release of the limited edition latte and Frappuccino, which are made with pumpkin pie flavor and seasoned with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
In the past, the coffee chain has offered the Pumpkin Spice Starbucks menu to select customers in advance of the public release date, and sometimes that sneak preview would come as early as August. But the norm is to pour Pumpkin Spice Lattes around early September, as it was in 2017.
This is no mere giddiness for sweater season on Starbucks’ part. Spending on specialty drinks like the annual Pumpkin Spice Latte are one way Starbucks stock hopes to recover from an otherwise downward trends this year. In June, Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz announced he was retiring, after stepping down as the company’s chief executive in April 2017. Beyond that bombshell, June was also a chaotic month for Starbucks, with the chain announcing it would close 150 locations as it quietly raised coffee prices, the third increase in three years.
But pouring it on thick with specialty drinks is typically a smart strategy for Starbucks. Especially since the Pumpkin Spice Latte is the company’s top-selling seasonal drink of all time.