Although autumn officially starts on September 22, some believe it really begins with the arrival of the pumpkin spice latte. Starbucks' beloved beverage is available beginning on September 5, the company announced. But this year the drink comes with potential competition: maple.
Sales for pumpkin spice-flavored products are not keeping up with the number of products being introduced this year, according to analytics company 1010data.
"We may be at peak spice, and we'll quickly know whether pumpkin spice has jumped the shark as this season's sales roll in," a representative of 1010data told Market Watch.
Maple, which is showing up in new products, such as Dunkin' Donuts newly introduced Maple Pecan Coffee, may be the flavor of the season. MarketWatch quotes another industry expert saying, "Maple is surging."
Starbucks' "PSL" was released with much fanfare this year, as the coffee company began live streaming a "pumpkin hatch" on Friday. The live stream left fans confused because they believed it marked the launch date of the drink, but at the end of the live-stream it was announced that the drink would be available Tuesday.
Adding to the confusion, images of coffee lovers holding Pumpkin Spice Lattes were posted to social media early, meaning some stores had started serving the drink prior to the official date.
No matter whether you prefer maple or pumpkin spice, the arrival of the autumnal drinks ushered in the annual argument: Is the unofficial start of fall too early?