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In battle of pumpkin spice vs. apple, one fall flavor has the edge

·Producer
·2-min read
In this article:
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Starbucks' (SBUX) famous Pumpkin Spice Latte has not only helped boost the coffee chain's foot traffic, but also social media conversations about the classic fall flavor. 

Social media analytics company Sprout Social compiled data on volume, keywords and conversation trends between August 1 and September 21. The firm found that pumpkin is still the most talked about fall flavor — despite the fact that Starbucks recently debuted its new Apple Crisp Macchiato this year. 

Online conversations favored the chain's Pumpkin Spice Latte compared to the new addition by a large margin (40.53K to 17.58K, respectively). Pumpkin conversations have also tracked significantly more volume than apple conversations – 146K compared to 24K, the company said. 

For Starbucks, the Pumpkin Spice Latte has consistently been a strong driver for growth. The signature drink debuted in 2003, with more than 500 million sold to date.

Consumers crave fall flavors

Recently harvested orange pumpkins in a random pile
Recently harvested orange pumpkins in a random pile

The social media data further highlighted consumers' obsession with fall— with search trends related to seasonal flavors, like pumpkin spice or apple crisp, jumping toward the end of the summer. 

According to Sprout Social, total conversation volume spiked 4,265% with 9.5K conversations on August 24 (the date Starbucks rolled out its fall flavors) compared to the day prior. 

That momentum continued into the first week of September, with volume surging a whopping 347% versus the last week of August — well before fall's official start on September 22. 

Overall, sentiment surrounding the return of fall and those classic autumnal flavors came in largely positive at 43%. This was followed by 35% neutral and 21% negative.

With consumers ready and eager to embrace the change of season, companies have been quick to incorporate new fall items. Brands embracing pumpkin-flavored products this year include Pepperidge Farm (CPB), Dairy Queen (BRK-B), Tim Hortons (QSR) and Samuel Adams (SAM).

Alexandra is a Producer & Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193

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