Leaves or Latte’s?

Throughout the year the seasons transition and each is marked by the changing of weather, holidays, changes in nature, and even by seasonal drinks. But being in SC 200 today made me question that thought. We discussed both direct, and reverse correlations. So, is it the season that denotes the change? Or is it the change that denotes the season? Many times throughout the year we qualify the start of a season when there is a dramatic change in weather such as the first snow storm of winter, however this ideal is shifting.

In the case of Autumn, we have no longer declared the start of fall by the first leaf to drop, no, but rather the first Pumpkin Spice Latte sold. The day café’s and coffee shops begin to sell these sought after seasonal drinks, is the day society declares the start of Fall. In 2003 Starbucks introduced this fall favorite between September until mid-November, and the results were staggering. Having known their seasonal holiday drinks were successful, they decided to broaden their spectrum to cover fall flavors. Not expecting their limited offer to be as successful as it was, they chose to make it one of their seasonal drinks.

But why? What third entity has caused society to alter its view of the start of a season? There are multiple possible correlations that could explain why so many people buy this drink; the first and foremost being that it is a, “social Norm,” to enjoy these drinks. As the season progresses the number of latte’s purchased increases. This correlation could be a result of a change in climate or could very well be a result of the popular fad. What do you think? Is there a second entity influencing the purchase of these drinks?

1 thought on “Leaves or Latte’s?

  1. Sarah Elizabeth Read

    What an interesting thought! It’s one that I’ve considered a number of times, especially when it’s April or May and I’m in the mood for pumpkin pie or a peppermint mocha. Coming from New York, harvest season is particularly evident as apple orchards are at their peak business time, pumpkin patches are crowded with young families, and there are maple festivals happening every other weekend. I think we can all agree that these flavors are best in autumn, but I continually wonder why people judge so hard if I want a “fall-flavored” food or drink in the middle of spring. Even my family will give me looks if I suggest that we make pumpkin-walnut waffles on a Saturday morning in the June. So to answer your question, I really do think it’s a combination of both climate and popular fad (but more of the latter). Here’s an article I found on the infamous PSL itself and how Starbucks has dealt with the early demand this season: https://www.fastcompany.com/3034817/most-creative-people/there-is-no-such-thing-as-pumpkin-spice-latte-season

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