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The Pumpkin Spice Apocalypse is Upon Us

Phillip Brooks

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.

pumpkin spice latte 

Chewing gum? Yogurt? What will be the next pumpkin-spiced abomination to emerge from the "Island of Doctor Moreau"-like experiments being conducted upon innocent foodstuffs?

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.

Pumpkin Spice Latte SEMrush 

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?

Pumpkin Spice Latte on SEMrush 

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!

Phillip Brooks

Provides valuable insights and adds depth to the conversation.

Phillip Brooks is SEMrush's Content Marketing Manager.
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Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

themed advertising. pumpkin = halloween = Fall season
Michael Striker

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Great Pumpkin! 4-5X more traffic to half the indexed pages!? Spicy keyword results, indeed. Wonder how Starbucks may have seasoned their AdWords spend, given their Social campaign? And how much of the ad traffic has Dunkin carved out, thus far?

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