Sales Of Actual Pumpkins Down Amid Pumpkin Spice-Flavored Craze

By now you’d have to be living under a rock where everything smells like dirt and wet rocks not to be aware of the annual pumpkin spice frenzy that overtakes menus across the land every fall. But while it’s not shocking to hear that things that are flavored to taste like pumpkin and/or the spices we love — allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. — are selling like pumpkin spice hotcakes, it’s kind of sad to learn that sales of actual pumpkins are sliding.

In a recent report from Nielsen, the data shows that the pumpkin flavor trend is nowhere near stopping, and has become a staple of the autumn season — 37% of American consumers bought a pumpkin-flavored product in 2014, accounting for $361 million in sales just in 2014, which is a 79% boost from 2011.

The hottest sellers on the pumpkin market include pie filling ($134,786,923 in sales last year), pumpkin cream ($47,907,993) and pumpkin coffee ($32,655,566). Again, this isn’t news — everywhere you turn these days there’s pumpkin pet food, pumpkin gum, pumpkin spice Twinkies, pumpkin milk and even pumpkin dish soap.

Fresh pumpkins are being left out of the fad fun, however, with sales declining every year in 2011, 2013 and 2014, Nielsen reports, accounting for 8.6 million fewer pumpkins going home from the pumpkin patch with a proud new owner.

GET READY FOR THE GREAT PUMPKIN INVASION [Nielsen]