Leaves fall as students walk across campus, crisp air blowing all around with smiles on their faces and a popular, warm drink in their hands- the pumpkin spice latte.
The pumpkin spice epidemic has gotten serious. Even though the beverage came out in 2003, it is now more popular than ever. Everywhere people turn, there is pumpkin spice. What started out as one product now has countless pumpkin spice flavored products from gum and bagels to Febreeze and makeup tutorials.
Student Starbucks barista Kristophe Holleness talked about the huge pumpkin spice epidemic.
“There is pumpkin spice literally everything,” Holleness said. “It’s become more of a social phenomenon, now. Around fall time, everything comes out pumpkin spice.”
Starbucks barista Cynthia Castro stated that almost 600 PSLs are ordered in a day in the library store. According to her, almost every other drink ordered is a pumpkin spice latte.
Holleness says one of the reasons behind the pumpkin spice craze is because it is signature fall.
“Pumpkin is one the signature vegetables that people associate with fall,” Holleness said. “People really love the pumpkin. Everything is pumpkin. Let’s go carve some pumpkins. Let’s go do something pumpkin. So having pumpkin spice is another quick way for them to feel close to the season.”
The drink arrived on September 8, and because of the intense popularity, the campus store ran out of pumpkin spice for several days in its opening week.
Holleness talked about when the annual PSL was released and how the university student body reacted to it.
“I remember it clearly,” Holleness said. “It was a Tuesday. That’s when we started it. And then it went kind of crazy from there. Everyone was like, ‘Pumpkin spice, pumpkin spice, pumpkin spice!’ And we just did not have enough, because a lot of people were ordering it. So it ran out. It is just supply and demand.”
Improvements have been made to the signature drink throughout the years. Instead of just a syrup flavoring, the drink now contains real pumpkin and the spice nutmeg is sprinkled on top.
“I definitely taste some pumpkin in there,” senior Louis Blas said. “It is really good. It tastes like a pumpkin pie.”
Another reason for its popularity is because it is a limited edition drink served only September through mid-November.
Junior Sara Pérez talked about how the limited frame of time in which you can get the pumpkin spice latte is a factor in the high demand for it.
“The fact that you can only grab it at a certain time makes people want it more,” Pérez said. “They see that and they want to jump on it. It’s just like when you see a sale in a mall. It attracts everyone to go to it. But you would not normally go unless there was a sale.”
As if there was nothing else that could become pumpkin spice, the drink also has a twitter account. You can follow the beverage @TheRealPSL, which now has over 18.3k followers.
Some of the newest and craziest pumpkin spice flavored products include Oreos, hummus and vodka.
“I saw that in the store and I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know about that,’” Blas said. “Everything is pumpkin spice.”
The public interest for this beverage is what makes it unique even more than the flavor. Countless articles have mentioned it and all of the different products. Check Buzzfeed, Cosmo magazine and People magazine. They all have something to say about it.
Even presidential candidate Hilary Clinton was being asked about it in a recent interview. People everywhere are getting into it, even if they do not like flavoring.
“I don’t really like pumpkin,” Pérez said. “I think I would try it, just to cure my curiosity,”
Though there is a new fall drink Toasted Graham Latte, Pumpkin Spice is still in the top three best sellers according to campus Starbucks workers. The pumpkin spice craze is not going anywhere.
“Everybody orders the pumpkin spice,” Holleness said. “We are not going to have one day until it is gone that no one orders it. It is an addiction.”