Pumpkin Spice Fever Arrives Early This Year

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Pumpkin Spice Fever Arrives Early This Year

Dunkin' Donuts pumpkin spice

NATIONAL REPORT — Although summer temperatures are still high, the early arrival of pumpkin spice products is already bringing a touch of fall to multiple retailers.

7-Eleven invites customers to "Fall Back in Love with a Favorite" as participating convenience stores offer its pumpkin spice latte and fresh-brewed pumpkin-flavored coffee. The retailer released these flavored drinks on Aug. 13, more than a month ahead of the official start of fall, because pumpkin spice is the chain's most successful limited-time offering in the hot beverage category.

For a limited time, participating 7Eleven stores are offering any size cup of coffee and other hot beverages for a dollar.

"Pumpkin spice is our coffee customers' favorite flavored drink, and we didn't want to make them wait any longer," said Michelle Cram, 7Eleven senior category manager for hot beverages. "With 7Eleven's special dollar pricing, pumpkin spice-lovers can drink three — at morning, noon and night — for the same price they'd pay for just one latte at a coffeehouse or restaurant. And, after only six beverage purchases scanned on the 7Eleven app, you can get a free one. That's a big bang for your beverage buck."

The 7-Eleven pumpkin spice latte blends warm, autumn spices including cinnamon, ginger, anise and clove with creamy pumpkin. To add to the seasonal celebration, customers can create a pumpkin spice mocha by adding a pump of 7-eleven's new chocolate sauce to their latte and topping with festive, fall-colored leaf-shaped sprinkles. International Delight pumpkin spice creamer is also available, and all creamers, sweeteners, flavored syrups and toppings are available on the 7Eleven hot beverage bar at no extra charge.

Irving-based 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 68,000 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America.

Dunkin' Donuts' pumpkin lineup returns to participating locations on Aug. 21. This includes its new signature pumpkin-flavored latte with cinnamon and sugar, which can be paired with its new apple cider doughnuts.

However, a sneak preview came Aug. 14, when eight Dunkin' restaurants across the country rebranded to Pumpkin' to offer a free small hot or iced Pumpkin Flavored Coffee to the first 250 customers while supplies lasted.

"Every year during the peak of summer our guests begin to tell us they are ready for their pumpkin fix," Dunkin' said in a released statement.

The Pumpkin' stores also offered a limited quantity of the new pumpkin-scented Munchkins lip balm.

The one-day brand change took place at stores in Providence, R.I.; Upperco, Md.; Marietta, Ga.; Pittsburgh; Kissimmee, Fla.; Indian Trail, N.C.; New York; and Boston. The first letters in the cities' names combine to spell PUMPKIN, with Boston added in honor of the company's hometown.

Canton-based Dunkin' Brands Group's 100-percent franchised business model includes more than 12,500 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants.

While Starbucks has not yet officially revealed the date when it will begin offering its Pumpkin spice latte, employees reportedly revealed on social media that it will return Aug. 27, the earliest date yet.

"We're not quite ready to reveal our plans for this year," a spokesperson for the Seattle-based coffee giant said in an email to The New York Times. "But if you're looking for a reason to celebrate the season, stop by your nearest grocery store and pick up one of our fall products."

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