‘Tis the season of pumpkin

Labor Day has come and gone, and its absence has opened the gates to all things pumpkin. As soon as the white clothes were packed away for Winter, this quintessential Autumn flavor made its comeback.

Starbucks is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. At Dunkin’ Donuts, consumers are faced with making a Sophie’s Choice of pumpkin offerings. So far I’ve noticed pumpkin donuts, munchkins, lattes and coffee at this regional staple. David’s Tea unveiled its Fall Tea collection earlier in the month, complete with a Pumpkin Chai blend.

Every Fall the foodservice industry can hardly wait to offer this Autumnal favorite, and they seem to be doing so earlier each year. But grocery stores don’t share the same enthusiasm for this Fall phenom, and I think they’re really missing out on a huge, annual trend. The only food retail category where pumpkin seems to make an impact is with beers. But not all grocery stores carry beer!

It’s about time that the food retail industry takes full advantage of this trend before its gone with the fallen foliage. By offering various types of canned pumpkin and fresh squash like patty pan, butternut, spaghetti, and so on, along with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, retailers can become a destination for these seasonal staples. Cooking with pumpkin at home seems to be rather intimidating to many consumers, but with the retailers guidance and ample stock, pumpkin just might take over the world.

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