Pumpkin Spice Halloween

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When you think of October, a couple staples come to mind: Halloween and, of course, pumpkins!

This time of year, I’m a pumpkin fanatic. In 2003, Starbucks invented the iconic Pumpkin Spice Latte and forever changed the seasonal beverage game. Now, we have Pumpkin Spice everything, from Beef Jerky to Krispy Kreme Doggie Doughnuts. The data shows regional disparities in pumpkin foods resonance, but I should have my own spot on the map. I’m down to try it all. I still love a good pumpkin carving; I like cooking the pumpkin seeds; and I love pumpkin pie. I think the band Smashing Pumpkins is ripe for a nostalgic comeback.

Halloween is also one of the biggest retail holidays of the year. Every Halloween season, Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy. Even with inflation pushing candy prices higher, Halloween spending is at an all-time high, even higher than the pre-Covid era.

And, there are lot of great events and marketing campaigns including:

I’m still chuckling at this Peso Pluma x Stranger Things collab that Netflix pulled together.

This year’s costume frontrunners appear to be Barbie, Spider-Man, and Wednesday Addams. The Future Party broke down the business of haunted houses and how these are turning into year-round businesses as the experience economy through Funflation continues to rise. The science beyond these scary experiences and movies is fascinating. Emotion found “voluntary scare experiences” put people in better moods and have the same calming effect as meditation (after you leave the attraction, that is). Enjoyment of scary stimuli seems to be related to getting a grip on unpredictable situations. They also found that people who enjoy watching scary films are more psychologically resilient than non-horror fans.

We already live in scary, uncertain times, so why not add to the pile. It’s good to see Halloween and Pumpkin flavors alive and well. I still see plenty of room for innovation.

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Also published on Medium.