Fall is here! Well, not quite — but Starbucks has jumped the gun this year and released the infamous pumpkin spice latte as of yesterday — earlier than it ever has before!
It might seem a little soon for pumpkin spice, being that it’s still August and many areas in the country have actually been experiencing pretty high temperatures over the last few weeks. Starbucks, however, has decided that now is the perfect time for the return of their beloved fall beverage — even if we’re a month out from the season.
As of August 25, you can now enter (or drive-thru!) your local Starbucks and pick up a warm pumpkin spice latte or an iced version topped with whipped cream. The coffee chain has also brought back their pumpkin cream cold brew and their seasonal bakery items — a pumpkin scone and a pumpkin cream cheese muffin — to join in the festivities.
So what was the rush in bringing back the PSL? While some may think it’s pretty early, Dunkin’ actually beat Starbucks to the punch by releasing their Fall lineup on August 19th. The Dunkin autumn seasonal menu includes their own pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin flavored coffees, a chai latte, a pumpkin flavored donut and muffin, their apple cider donut and munchkins, and a maple sugar bacon breakfast sandwich.
But it’s not just because competition is in the air. Reports show that sales for both chains are suffering amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With more people working and going to school from home, revenue has dropped since folks aren’t stopping for their daily coffee and breakfast on the morning commute.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said that the “disruption to the weekday morning routines, notably commuting to work and school, is a headwind.” Representatives from Dunkin’ have also stated that their sales have shifted from early morning to midday, and that folks are opting for more non-coffee drinks and snacks. It’s no doubt that both chains are hoping that the early release of fall season items will help boost sales.
So while it’s not quite sweater weather yet, give yourself permission to indulge in a PSL a little early this year — especially if you’re a fan of Starbucks. Your taste buds will certainly not know the difference!