By Rebecca Torchia
Autumn has long been known for comfy sweaters, Halloween and the spectacular natural colors of the leaves on the trees. More recently, though, the season has been recognized for something else as well; pumpkin spice beverages.
The trend, which has gained many followers in recent years, can most likely be traced back to Starbucks. The coffee company introduced the pumpkin spice latte in 2003 and has sold 200 million since, according to their newsroom site.
However, Starbucks locations aren’t the only source of pumpkin drinks.Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) season is upon us
“At home we have King Soopers. It’s a grocery store, and they have a pumpkin vanilla hot chocolate,” said sophomore environmental science and policy major Hershini Gopal.
Whether it’s Gopal’s hometown of Denver or here in College Park, pumpkin beverages saturate the market during the fall season, and can be found in nearly any coffee shop. One theory as to why they are so popular is because of their limited availability.
“I think [the limited availability] has a big impact because everyone’s always excited for this time of the year, the fall, so I think it definitely increases the popularity,” said junior government and politics major Analucy Benavides. “People yearn for it because they can’t get it anytime.”
Some people feel that the pumpkin season is slowly taking over the end of summer.
“We have a timeline with our corporate calendar and we generally start it at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Our fall this year started late August,” said David Cavanaugh, store manager of the Starbucks on Route 1.
Another theory as to why people love pumpkin flavored drinks is that they remind people of autumn and the things associated with it.
“It tastes like fall,” said sophomore government and politics major Margaux Jacobs.
“It reminds everyone of autumnal ambiance,” she said. “I just feel like going to a pumpkin patch and drinking pumpkin-flavored hot chocolate, and it’s the only time of the year where that’s acceptable.”
There’s no doubt that the pumpkin spice drinks are a big hit. Every day, the Starbucks on Route 1 sells “probably 15 percent” pumpkin spice drinks, according to Cavanaugh.
“It gives people an excuse to go into a coffee shop and enjoy that little atmosphere,” said junior criminology and criminal justice major Samantha Rowland.