Is it too early for pumpkin spice? According to Nielsen’s Friday morning data, sales of products featuring American’s favorite fall flavor are already moving off shelves. In the week ended Aug. 25, 2018, sales of products with pumpkin flavorings reached over $6.9 million, up nearly 10% in dollar growth and more than 7% in unit volume from the same time last year.
Consumers’ taste for this popular fall flavor is on the rise overall. Annual sales of “pumpkin” flavored products (i.e., products where the flavor noted on the packaging contains the word “pumpkin”) reached $488.8 million in the 52 weeks ended Aug. 25, 2018. This represents a 15.5% growth from 2017 numbers and an all-time high for the past five years.
For the past several years, pumpkin flavoring has swept through stores each fall. And brands continue to jump on the autumnal bandwagon, bringing to market new pumpkin-flavored offerings across categories. These new offerings are benefiting from this popular fall flavor. For the 12 months ended Aug. 25, 2018, sales of pumpkin flavored dog food grew 123.7% compared to the same time last year. Meanwhile, sales of a long-standing pumpkin flavored product, pie filling, have dipped slightly by 1% during the same period. With new product releases (and the return of fan favorites), interest and demand for all things pumpkin should continue to play out this season.
Broken down, pumpkin spice is actually a blend of a versatile set of spices—cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove and ginger—that are rooted in the very fabric of the fall season. And all are experiencing increased sales across the store. But despite these positive trends for the individual spices, sales for pumpkin pie spice are actually down. While pumpkin spice may be popular as a flavor to accompany favorites like coffee or baking mixes, pumpkin spice seasoning hasn’t benefited from this lift.
And Americans might not be ready to completely let go of the summer season just yet. While pumpkin flavored products have already made headway, weekly sales of other fall favorite flavors like maple ($26 million), or cinnamon ($50 million) as of the week ended Aug. 25, 2018, have yet to climb above the norm for the last 12 weeks.
Some insights from this article were fueled by Nielsen Friday morning data delivery, the earliest FMCG market read available. Learn more about Friday morning data delivery.
NOTE: Data in this article represents all Nielsen-measured channels excluding convenience stores.