No, We Haven’t Gone Overboard With the Pumpkin Spice Flavor

September 27, 2017, 5:17 PM UTC

The flavor of pumpkin, once mostly reserved for pies and produce, has recently crept into every imaginable crevice of American cuisine.

Since Starbucks launched its cult-classic gourd-flavored drink in 2003, the onslaught of pumpkin-spice also-rans has come to include M&Ms, Cheerios, Pepperidge farm Milanos, the Republic of Tea, HIT Supplements whey protein, Clif Bars, and Jet-Puffed Marshmallows (to name just a few).

There are even non-edible pumpkin-spiced products: Hello, PSL deodorant.

But the explosion of fall feeling has its limits. According to Nielsen, growth in pumpkin flavoring has slowed. Sales of pumpkin-flavored products are expected to hit $414 million this year, according to the firm’s estimates.

Pumpkin spice products ranging from cookies and donuts to candy and air freshener.John Bazemore—AP
John Bazemore—AP

That’s an all-time high, and 6% higher than last year’s fall season, but it’s less of an uptick than the pumpkin products saw the year before (10% growth). Or the year before that (also 10%). And it’s almost stagnant compared to the year-over-year increase between 2012 and 2013 (up 20%).

Plus, despite the Starbucks-induced craze, it’s still old-fashioned pies that make up the bulk of pumpkin flavor sales. Of the following list of items, which constitute 80% of pumpkin revenue, pies still take the lead. (The rest are admittedly weirder.)

Pumpkin Pie Filling

Pumpkin Flavored Cream

Pumpkin Flavored Dog Food

Pumpkin Flavored Coffee

Pumpkin Baked Bread

Pumpkin Flavored Cereal

Pumpkin Baking Mix

Pumpkin Flavored Liquid Coffee

Pumpkin Yogurt

Pumpkin Fresh Desserts

So enjoy your pumpkin spiced food flavoring spray while you can. Like autumn’s temperate climes too-quickly give way to Peppermint-mocha Frap season, it won’t be long the fickle nation turns its weary eyes to the Maple Pecan Latte.

A version of this article appears in the Oct. 1, 2017 issue of Fortune.

Read More

Great ResignationInflationSupply ChainsLeadership