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The #PumpkinSpice Phenomenon: A Deep Dive into the Trend Taking Over Fall

The #PumpkinSpice Phenomenon

As autumn sets in with its warm colors and brisk air, one flavor takes center stage – #PumpkinSpice. This flavor which consists of a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves, has become a must-have for fall. Using data from the Captiv8 platform, we’ll dig into the contributors, posts, engagement, and demographics driving this trend. Let’s explore how this simple blend has become an essential part of autumn for so many and what’s next.

#PumpkinSpice Instagram Insights

On Instagram alone, the #PumpkinSpice hashtag boasts an impressive 10.93K unique contributors, generating a whopping 16.53K posts between September 24, 2023 and October 24, 2023. The engagement levels during this time period included 13.15 million total engagements. These numbers highlight the immense popularity of Pumpkin Spice on the platform. It’s clear that people are not only enjoying the flavor, but they’re also eager to share their experiences with others. This sense of community and shared enthusiasm is a testament to the enduring appeal of Pumpkin Spice.

Who is posting about #PumpkinSpice?

In terms of gender distribution, the majority of contributors are female, making up 81.46% of the total, while male contributors constitute 18.54%. This aligns with broader trends in food and beverage marketing, where women are often the primary target audience. Women make up more than half of the U.S. population, and control or influence 85% of consumer spending. This number rises up to 93% when looking specifically at food and beverage.

Delving into the socioeconomic status of the contributors, we observe that Pumpkin Spice resonates across income brackets. While the largest contributors fall within the $20,001-$40,000 bracket (44.6%), there’s a significant presence in the $60,001-$80,000 bracket (19.92%). This suggests a broad appeal, indicating that Pumpkin Spice is not merely a luxury indulgence, but a flavor accessible to a wide audience.

Millennials and #PumpkinSpice

Age-wise, the largest contributors on Instagram for #PumpkinSpice are between 25 and 34 years old. This demographic segment, often referred to as millennials, is a pivotal consumer group for Pumpkin Spice products. The introduction of the Pumpkin Spice Latte by Starbucks in 2003 coincided with the emergence of millennials as a significant force in consumer culture. 

A recent Captiv8 study found that 43% of Millennials turn to Instagram to look for Halloween inspiration, further cementing the connection between this generation and the Instagram platform.

#PumpkinSpice Engagement Patterns

The high engagement levels around #PumpkinSpice indicate a deep emotional connection to this flavor. Whether it’s the cozy memories associated with pumpkin-flavored treats or the anticipation of the holiday season, there’s no denying the powerful allure of Pumpkin Spice.

The surge in engagement during autumn months is likely tied to the seasonal availability of pumpkin-flavored products. Brands, influencers, and everyday users capitalize on this trend, creating a sense of collective celebration around all things Pumpkin Spice. 

The time-bound nature of pumpkin spice, available only for a limited amount of time, creates a pronounced “fear of missing out” (FOMO) effect on consumer behavior. In fact, over two in five young consumers have purchased a special edition / limited-release item from a brand. This psychological phenomenon strongly influences purchasing decisions, as consumers are driven by the perceived scarcity of pumpkin spice availability. This marketing strategy capitalizes on the urgency and exclusivity associated with seasonal offerings, further amplifying the enduring popularity of pumpkin spice products.

Pumpkin Spice’s Path to Sustained Success

Looking ahead, it’s evident that the Pumpkin Spice phenomenon is here to stay. The broad appeal across income brackets, genders, and age groups suggests that this flavor profile has achieved a level of ubiquity that transcends traditional marketing demographics.

Furthermore, as the demand for seasonal and limited-time offerings continues to grow, we can anticipate an even greater proliferation of Pumpkin Spice products across various industries. From beverages to baked goods, and even non-food items like scented candles and beauty products, Pumpkin Spice has continued to be a staple of autumn culture.


The Pumpkin Spice phenomenon is a testament to the power of seasonal flavors in winning over consumers. It exemplifies how a well-timed and expertly marketed product can not only become a seasonal sensation but also a cultural touchstone. This trend extends far beyond Pumpkin Spice; it encompasses a wide array of seasonal offerings that have the potential to captivate audiences.

At Captiv8, we specialize in leveraging the influence of creators to amplify seasonal campaigns. Our data reveals that one in two Gen Zers have been enticed to try new snacks based on influencer recommendations. This underscores the immense impact that influencers hold in shaping consumer preferences and driving purchasing decisions.

As the seasons change, so do consumer cravings and preferences. Whether it’s a limited-time flavor, a special edition product, or a seasonal promotion, our expertise in influencer marketing can propel your brand to new heights this season. Let’s work together to make sure your brand stands out in the seasonal landscape and leaves a lasting impression on consumers. Get in touch with us today to start crafting a seasonal campaign that will leave a lasting impact.

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