COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte hit stores Tuesday, but ever since its original debut in 2003, it has spawned a nationwide trend that has folks going pumpkin spice crazy. From Oreos to M&Ms, once September hits, everything gets a dash of pumpkin spice.
“I’ve never seen a craze like the pumpkin craze,” said Crystal Wildenstein, owner of Wild Stein Liquors.
But why now?
“Starbucks. Starbucks, pumpkin pie, Uggs, North Face jackets, I mean it’s like they go nuts for it,” Sean Fitzgerald, director of the Wobbly Olive, said.
The Wobbly Olive’s new fall drink menu features a pumpkin pie martini and so far, it’s a huge hit.
“So we unveiled that it was coming soon. We did that the middle of last week then on Friday enough people came in asking can I just get it early, just try it early,” Fitzgerald said. “So we finally released the pumpkin pie early just because of the demand.”
Wild Stein Liquors said they start thinking about making their fall beer orders in June.
“Everything for the fall is just kooky. Everybody loves their pumpkin beers,” Wildenstein said. “They’re really hard to keep on the shelf and the sad thing is it’s kind of first-come first-serve. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.”
Even though Starbucks may have started the trend, there are plenty of local coffee shops where you can get the beloved pumpkin spice latte. So what is it about that powerful pumpkin-y flavor?
“The fall,” Wildenstein said. “You think fall, you think pumpkin pies, you think cinnamon, you think nutmeg, you think family, you think cold. And what’s better on a cold day than something that reminds you of the holidays that you love, that’ll warm you up?”