It's fall in the U.S. That means the air is crisp, the leaves are turning and we're all being inundated with hundreds of pumpkin spice-themed products most of us didn't ask for.
When did this seasonal flavor become such a phenomenon? People look forward to the limited-time release of pumpkin spice products each year with an anticipation bordering on the pathological.
We used to wait alongside Linus Van Pelt as he sought the Great Pumpkin. Now, we'd just hand him a Starbucks gift card and send him on his way.
It's become a major event — one that companies are eager to cash in on.
The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte bills itself as the "unofficial" beverage of fall. It might be time to take off the quotes, because they're right. It even has its own (genuinely funny) Twitter account that sports nearly 100K followers.
I can't say for certain where the trend will end (pumpkin spice zombies, is my guess), but I can say with some conviction WHEN it will end.
In the meantime, pumpkin spice is big business. Advertisers are spending record numbers on "pumpkin spice" and its related keywords this year.
Using SEMrush, let's take a look at how pumpkin spice is conquering the world.
First off, let's look at the traffic for the keyword "pumpkin spice latte" for October 2013.
So, we see that the keyword itself was searched for around 5,400 times within that month, displaying results from more than 4 million pages.
How much has that demand grown in a year?
Wow. Through the first week of October 2014, we're already seeing a similar search volume than was displayed for the entire month of October last year.
Oddly enough, we've now got only 2.6 million results to sift through. Could the search algorithm changes deployed since that time last year be a factor? (Maybe the folks at Google are serious about their pumpkin spice lattes.)
Have you noticed an uptick in anything else seasonal this year? Are you pro or anti-pumpkin spice? Let us know in the comments!