A brief history of our search interest in pumpkin spice lattes
Pumpkin Spice Lattes are practically synonymous with autumn. It just isn’t fall until you sip a PSL while fiery orange leaves crunch under your boots. The Pumpkin Spice Latte is an undeniable staple of the season — look no further than Google Trends for proof. Here are 10 moments of PSL search trend history.
- “Pumpkin Spice Latte” began gaining popularity as a search term in the fall of 2010.
2. It started out as a solidly autumnal treat — up until 2017, search interest in “Pumpkin Spice Latte” first peaked in September, and then again in October and November.
3. These days, it’s becoming more of a late-summer, early-fall beverage: Since 2018, search interest in “Pumpkin Spice Latte” has peaked in August.
4. On that note: Searches for “Pumpkin Spice Latte” were highest in 2022 during the week of August 28 - September 3.
5. Search interest in “pumpkin spice latte” hit new heights in August of this year.
6. …Which isn’t terribly surprising, given that it’s been on a steady increase every year — until 2018! Search interest dropped significantly in 2018, and only began rising again in 2021.
7. Speaking of PSLs, search interest in the pumpkin spice acronym grew annually alongside the full drink name. (Quick note that not all “PSL” searches are about the drink — PSL is also an acronym for other things, like Port St. Lucie, a city in Florida. But PSL spikes do seem to coincide with “pumpkin spice latte” spikes each fall, so clearly some of the interest overlaps.)
8. Looking at related search terms, searches for “pumpkin spice” have actually always been higher than search interest for “pumpkin spice latte.” But they’ve also experienced a rise in popularity parallel to search interest in the coffee drink.
This begs the question: Is it the chicken or the egg? Or rather, the pumpkin spice or the latte? Has a penchant for pumpkin spice driven interest in the drink, or is it the other way around?
9. Search interest in “pumpkin spice” (hold the latte) is also happening earlier each year. Initially the spike happened in November and then October…but that peak moved to September and has stayed there since 2014.
10. And finally: Not all pumpkin spice products are edible. Earlier this month in the U.S., the most-searched “pumpkin spice scented” items (in order of popularity) were cat litter, soap, pouches, candles and hand lotion.