It’s not even fall yet, but pumpkin spice products are already returning and millions of people couldn’t be happier. As we told you, Starbucks’ iconic pumpkin spice latte is back as of yesterday, and it turns out, the coffee chain kicked off the whole pumpkin spice craze when they introduced the drink back in 2003. Now you can find everything from Pringles to hummus in pumpkin spice, and at least $500-million is spent on pumpkin spice-flavored products in the U.S. each year, according to advertising publication “Ad Age.”
So why do we love this particular flavor so much? Psychologists and researchers say it’s because we love to be reminded of fall and the warm feelings of family, home and nostalgia that the season brings and our brains associate those warm feelings with pumpkin spice. Matt Johnson, a psychologist who specializes in the application of psychology to marketing, explains, “The flavor is just so closely tied to the arrival of fall and the nostalgic, wholesome vibes of both family and the leaves changing.”
Johnson explains that the associations between fall and pumpkin spice are “built in the medial temporal lobe, which we can think of as the brain’s associative network. And when we think of either fall or pumpkin spice, it “will automatically trigger the other, since they share such close proximity” in that part of the brain. But one interesting thing about pumpkin spice is that there’s not actually any pumpkin in it on its own. Spice expert Ethan Frisch explains that pumpkin spice is just a blend of four to five spices: cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice.
Source: FOX News