As American consumers spend more on pumpkin flavored products, food and beverage manufacturers are taking notice with their products.
Martha Stewart may have said that pumpkin flavor has seen its day during a cable television interview in September, but the marketplace—retail and foodservice—paints a different picture. Just when you thought you had seen it all, the next autumn brings more innovation.
This year, New Jersey pizza chain Villa Italian Kitchen began serving pumpkin spice pizza, for example. Its pizza dough is topped with pumpkin pie filling and mozzarella cheese. After baking, additional pumpkin pie filling is added on top.
If historical sales trends continue, the foodservice sector is just getting started when it comes to tapping into the pumpkin spice flavor trend, according to Upserve, a restaurant management platform in Providence, R.I. The company recently looked at data from bars and restaurants around the country related to pumpkin-flavored item sales and customer behavior and, as it turns out, pumpkin-flavored foods are alive and well at restaurants, with October the busiest month. This mimics what supermarkets have known for some time. Americans spent $360 million on pumpkin spice-flavored foods in 2015, according to Nielsen data.
In foodservice in 2015 and 2016, sales of pumpkin items increased by nearly 50% between the last week of September and the third week of October, before tapering off throughout November, according to Upserve research. Over the same seven-week period in 2016 and 2017, starting right after Labor Day when pumpkin products start rolling out, the average price of a pumpkin product dropped from $9.20 to $7.81. This price reduction, coupled with more and varied menu offerings, promotes trial. Trying pumpkin spice-flavored foods while dining out encourages purchase at retail….