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Five Industries Cashing In on Pumpkin Spice Craze


These five US industries are already benefiting from the pumpkin spice craze this fall, releasing new items such as cereal, snack foods, and candles.

Pumpkin-style food, drink and other miscellaneous products have inundated the autumn product lines of several key industries for quite a few years now. This year, the trend seems to be back in full force even before the leaves turn brown; by mid-August, several stores and coffee shops began advertising pumpkin-spiced everything, effectively ushering in the end of summer. What once was a temporary treat found only in coffee houses and donut shops has expanded into a multimillion-dollar seasonal phenomenon that has become an enormous marketing opportunity for the five key US industries listed below.

5-pumpkin-spice-industries-posterCoffee Shops

Although coffee shops may not generate the majority of the US’s pumpkin-based revenue, it is undoubtedly the widespread success of the pumpkin spice latte that has kick-started the seasonal flavor trend. While the pumpkin spice latte may have started around 2003, it did not reach its current level of high consumer anticipation until the past five years. The success of the drink is largely attributable to Starbucks Corporation, which currently represents the largest company in the Coffee and Snack Shops industry (IBISWorld report 72221b), having initially released the drink back in 2013. Generating an estimated 43.0% of the industry’s market share, Starbucks has increased its domestic, industry-specific revenue at an annualized rate of 11.7% to total $17.0 billion in projected sales over the five years to 2016. This far outpaces the rest of the industry, which is projected to increase an annualized 2.8% to $45.3 billion in industry revenue during the five-year period. The success of Starbucks’ most popular seasonal drink has encouraged its competitors to partake in the annual event, causing sales of pumpkin spice lattes to increase 13-fold from 2014 to 2015.

Candle Manufacturing

Pumpkin-scented candles of various kinds are also a fall staple for many operators in the Candle Manufacturing industry (IBISWorld report OD4260). According to data from the National Candle Association (NCA), an estimated seven out of 10 households regularly use candles. Furthermore, according to the same data, over 70.0% of consumers consider candles an appropriate housewarming gift. Since the value of residential construction is expected to increase an annualized 8.0% over the five years to 2016, housing expenditure will also rise, boosting demand for decorative items such as scented candles.

Snack Food Production

Snack food producers receive the glut of the pumpkin-flavored demand over the fall season, thanks to the array of products offered to consumers in the form of traditional favorites. Items such as Kellogg’s pumpkin spice NutriGrain bars, Pumpkin Spice Frosted Mini Wheats, as well as Pringles Pumpkin Pie Spice Chips, all offer twists on consumer favorites. Major industry player PepsiCo., which operates in the Snack Food Production industry through its Lay’s, Doritos and Fritos labels, also offers a decent amount of seasonal offerings; in addition, Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips, as well as a line of pumpkin seeds through its SPITZ label also have seasoning offerings. Snacks are primarily consumed as a transient meal, typically during commutes, travel, or at work, in lieu of a full meal. As unemployment continues to fall and consumers return to work, demand for on-the-go meals and snacks are expected to increase. Seasonal offerings, such as nuts and seeds, are expected to increase significantly in the five years to 2016. In particular, pumpkin seeds and flavored nuts are expected to stand out during the autumnal season.

Supermarkets and Grocery Stores

The pumpkin spice craze is perhaps most prevalent throughout the Supermarkets and Grocery Stores industry, which retails the widest variety of the seasonal treat. Industry player Trader Joe’s is perhaps the most wholehearted contributor to the trend, with its pumpkin-style cheese cakes, cinnamon rolls, cereal bars, pies, chips, waffles, ground coffee, scones, granola cereal, ice cream, cookies, cookie butter and biscotti private-label brands. Trader Joe’s is projected to generate $14.0 billion in revenue in 2016 and is estimated to comprise a 2.3% market share within the Supermarkets and Grocery Stores industry. Pumpkin-pie filling remains the most popular pumpkin-style product for supermarkets and grocery stores due to its traditional appeal over newer, unconventional pumpkin desserts and pastries.

Craft Beer

The Craft Beer Production industry has never been averse to experimentation with different flavors, ingredients and adjuncts. This may be partly responsible for the wild success of seasonal pumpkin beers that fill bars and supermarkets as early as August each year. As beer drinkers continue to shift their alcoholic beverage consumption preferences in favor of craft beer instead of standard premium brands, limited-time seasonal flavors have caught on quickly. In fact, IBISWorld estimates that the seasonal beer category represents the second-largest product segment for the Craft Beer production industry (19.1% of sales), trailing only India Pale Ales (20.4% of sales) in popularity. Brewers expect pumpkin beer to continue the industry’s remarkable growth trajectory; the Craft Beer Production industry increased by an annualized 20.1% over the five years to 2016 to reach $5.8 billion in revenue. The Breweries industry, which represents all major domestic beer manufacturers, generated a comparably sluggish 4.6% annualized rate of growth over the same period.

About IBISWorld Inc.

Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit www.ibisworld.com.


Pumpkin Spice


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