Starbucks will release its Pumpkin Spice Latte earlier than ever this year, and some people have long since hopped off the bandwagon.
For some, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is as symbolic as fall flannel, back-to-school shopping, and apple picking. It’s the sign that autumn is almost here; the reminder that a new season of life is about to begin.
And for others, the PSL is just, well … meh.
According to Apester, 48 percent of American customers surveyed want nothing to do with the Pumpkin Spice Latte. If it went away, they wouldn’t miss it. Or they really, really wish it didn’t exist.
Where does the PSL hate come from? It could be that Starbucks hasn’t always included real pumpkin in their recipe (pumpkin puree is now part of the pumpkin spice sauce). There’s a lot of sugar in a PSL (50 grams in a grande) — not everyone is down for that. It doesn’t necessarily taste like the pumpkin pie you’re expecting even with all that sweetness.
To some people, a drink that’s supposed to be pumpkin-flavored but doesn’t have any pumpkin added just tastes wrong. Many don’t even like Starbucks coffee to begin with, so the idea of adding a bunch of spices to a mediocre espresso drink is, to them, hardly appealing.
Or maybe people don’t like the PSL hype because they just don’t like it when other people are excited about things they aren’t excited about. It happens.
If Starbucks offered the PSL and other seasonal drinks year-round, the hype would definitely die down. But sales might, too — and even for Starbucks, that’s not good.
Seasonal drinks are wonderful, but no one’s denying they’re a major marketing push. The annual return of the PSL feels like a holiday to many of us. It’s exciting, and makes us want to buy all the drinks and pastries. Take our money.
There’s a big difference between preferring not to order a drink and going out of your way to hate on it. If you love PSL season, don’t let the downers spoil your delicious fun. And if a PSL in August isn’t your thing, just shake it off. Let your friends indulge a little.
You can create your own hype around another less appreciated fall drink, like the Maple Pecan Latte. Or, you can just order plain boring coffee and leave it at that. You do you!
Do you have a favorite seasonal Starbucks drink? Or a favorite drink in general that no one else seems to love as much as you do? Here’s your chance to give it the praise it deserves. Leave a comment and tell us all about it.