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Flavor of the Week

Fall’s favorite flavor, Pumpkin Spice, adds warm seasoning to menus

Inspired by the spices used in pumpkin pie, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice, this flavor was launched by Starbucks in 2003 with its now-iconic Pumpkin Spice Latte and since then has been used in a wide variety of beverages, candies and cakes as well as cocktails, savory foods, and even scented candles and beauty products.

Sometimes actual pumpkin is incorporated into these offerings, but the inspiration comes from the autumn spice blend, not the squash, which remains best known as a Halloween decoration and pie filling.

Although the flavor seems ubiquitous in the fall in retail as well as foodservice, it is still found on just 2.2% of menus in the United States, according to menu research firm Datassential, and it continues to spread, with its presence having risen by 57% over the past four years.

Pumpkin spice is well known and widely consumed. Some 86% of consumers know of it, and most of them, 62%, have tried it.

As always, click through the gallery to learn more about the flavoring and see a menu idea.

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