Saturday, October 10, 2015

Marketing Pumpkin Everything in Autumn

Despite the great pumpkin shortage of 2015, autumn is the time when pumpkin invades the food world. In 2003, Starbucks and its marketing muscle helped launch this now annual fad of pumpkin-inspired beverages, desserts, and other foods of the season.

The marketing approach involves generating excitement for a flavor that many love but only offering products with pumpkin for a limited time. In other words: "Hurry and buy before it's gone and you have to wait another year."

And it works: According to the NPD Group, the average transaction for a purchase involving pumpkin-seasonal food/beverage is higher than without the pumpkin. This is a powerful profit reason for many marketers to jump on the pumpkin bandwagon.

A few samples of pumpkin marketing this fall:
  • Starbucks is adding real pumpkin to its Pumpkin Spice Latte, the original seasonal favorite that kicked off the pumpkin craze. 
  • Pumpkin Ale is a seasonal specialty at Saint Louis Brewery and at a growing number of other breweries, including Colorado's Upslope Brewing.
  • Dunkin' Donuts has gone wild with pumpkin for its 65th anniversary, offering donuts, coffees, and much more.
  • M&Ms now come in a seasonal pumpkin spice latte flavor.
  • Quaker Oatmeal has a seasonal pumpkin flavor too.

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