When Starbucks first launched the Pumpkin Spice Latte, known as the 'PSL,' in late August of 2003, it changed the United States’ definition of an autumn drink. The extremely popular beverage became synonymous with the season, and with increasing availability in stores–both as a drink and as part of many brands’ pumpkin syrups collection–it signaled the start of crisp fall days characterized by warm sweaters and fallen leaves.
But some states are more pumpkin spice-obsessed than others. According to a study on Google data, Washington loves the flavor the most–which makes sense, given that Starbucks originated in Seattle and the state’s autumn season sees a lot of cool rainy days that are perfect for these warm beverages.
The Pumpkin Spice Craze
The pumpkin spice craze in the US first started when the PSL was launched by Starbucks. Interestingly enough, the flavor wasn’t entirely crafted by the chain. Pumpkin spice had already been a flavor used in pies as early as the late 1700s, but it was in the 1930s when a spice blend was introduced to remove the step of having to combine spices yourself. Still, it was just heavily used in making pies.
The idea to add it to the Starbucks menu as a drink came from the company’s team in charge of coming up with fun flavor combos for different seasons (e.g. eggnog latte and peppermint mocha). They would pour espresso shots on pumpkin pies to determine the best ratio of the spice mix to an espresso and milk combo.
At first, the PSL was only available in one hundred stores across Vancouver, British Columbia and Washington, D.C., but now, it’s offered internationally. Starbucks has sold more than 424 million PSLs in the US alone since 2003.
Nowadays, the pumpkin spice craze has expanded beyond Starbucks. Almost all food and beverage brands offer their take on the flavor, from drinks to baked goods, during autumn–even companies outside of the US are following suit! People are also making the flavor a staple at home, with some creating their own DIY pumpkin spice syrup for easy, everyday access.
The Most Pumpkin Spice-Obsessed States
By analyzing search volume interest for 'pumpkin spice latte' on the Google Ads platform, the company Bid On Equipment concluded that Washington state is the most pumpkin spice-obsessed state in the US. Rounding out the top ten are California (which is home to the most Starbucks branches), Colorado, Oregon, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, Arizona, Hawaii, and New York.
On the other side of the spectrum, the least spice-obsessed states are Mississippi, Maine, Louisiana, Vermont, Alabama, West Virginia, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Wyoming, and Rhode Island.
The Most Pumpkin Spice-Obsessed Cities
Despite Washington leading the list of the most pumpkin spice-obsessed states, Seattle is only number two in the list of most pumpkin spice-obsessed cities (from the same study). The top spot belongs to Minneapolis in Minnesota, which is understandable given their cold spells during the fall season! The rest of the list is comprised of Miami, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Denver, Tampa, Sacramento, Raleigh, and Austin.
Satisfy Your Pumpkin Spice Obsession with Skinny Mixes
Whether or not you’re from any of these pumpkin spice-obsessed states or cities, we’ll bet you love the flavor just as much as every American. This autumn season, spoil yourself with Skinny Mixes’ pumpkin spice syrup collection.
With just a few pumps, you can transform your daily brews into warm and indulgent drinks reminiscent of Starbucks’ PSL. And the best part–all of our syrups are free of calories, sugar, fat, and carbs; they’re also kosher and gluten-free! This means you can enjoy your pumpkin spice concoctions, guilt-free, whenever you want!