Pumpkin: The Flavor Trend of Fall

NEW YORK — As fall arrives, it brings with it a wide variety of pumpkin-flavored products, and U.S. consumers are willing to try them all, according to Nielsen. Pumpkin flavor can now be found in everything from cereal to ice cream to oral care products.

Nielsen data shows that last year, 37 percent of U.S. consumers purchased a pumpkin-flavored product. Additionally, pumpkin products accounted for $361 million in sales in the last year alone, marking a 79 percent spike in growth since 2011.

Pumpkin bread, pies and baked goods are among the most popular pumpkin products, but the flavor is also available in products that captivate consumers' curiosity, Nielsen said. Pumpkin-flavored dog food, oral hygiene and gum products exist and are reportedly selling well, with sales of $12,878,380; $1,038,879; and $970,460, respectively.

Despite the rise in pumpkin-flavored products, fresh pumpkin itself is not seeing the same level of acceptance. Fresh pumpkin sales are declining and saw unit sale losses in 2011, 2013 and 2014, resulting in 8.6 million fewer pumpkins sold.

The continued rise in demand for pumpkin-flavored products means that classic, innovative pumpkin-flavored items are likely to continue occupying store shelves during the fall season and through Christmas, Nielsen predicted.

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