You'd think the onslaught of pumpkin spice everything -- lattes, Twinkies, even Peeps -- would translate to big sales of actual pumpkins. But it turns out that's far from the case. In fact, sales of fresh pumpkin have declined in recent years, according to a recent report by Nielsen. Somewhere, a soggy Jack-o'-lantern is frowning.
While consumers spent $361 million on pumpkin products overall last year, sales of fresh pumpkin continued to slide following declines in 2011 and 2013, accounting for 8.6 million fewer pumpkins sold in the last four years, according to the report. Oh my gourd.
As the Nielsen report explains, sweet and indulgent pumpkin spice flavored treats have simple carved out a bigger slice of the market. It remains to be seen whether Starbucks' new Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe with real pumpkin puree might boost pumpkin sales. Even if it doesn't, you can visit your local pumpkin patch/grocery store endcap crate to try out the real-deal fall treat. Isn't that how we got here in the first place?
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and, as a kid, grew pumpkins in his backyard and sold them from his Radio Flyer. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.