Which States Are The Most Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice Lattes in 2022?
When you think about fall, you probably think of cool evenings, brown leaves on the ground, wearing cardigans and boots, and last but not least… the iconic (and divisive) pumpkin spice latte.
Whether you love them or hate them, the pumpkin spice latte (PSL) can be pretty controversial because of when it lands in stores. The PSL used to mark the unofficial beginning of fall, but with Starbucks rolling out the drink in August in 2021, it’s slowly but surely becoming more of an “end of summer” beverage.
We wanted to know how Americans really feel about pumpkin spice lattes, so we analyzed Google search data to find out which states and cities are the most obsessed, and what their favorite type of PSL is. We also surveyed Americans to get their opinions on the staple drink.
The most pumpkin spice-obsessed state in 2022 is Washington, which makes sense since Starbucks was founded in Seattle! Washington is known for perfect PSL weather too, with many rainy days in the fall.
The next (2nd) most PSL obsessed state is California. Considering that warm temperatures stick around pretty much year-round, it’s no wonder Californians have to find another way to get into the fall mood. Also, California has the most Starbucks stores of any state in the U.S.
The other states that are obsessed with PSLs include Colorado (3rd), Oregon (4th), and Illinois (5th). The least obsessed states are Mississippi, Maine, Louisiana, Vermont, and Alabama.
Which Cities Are the Most PSL Obsessed?
The city that is the most obsessed with pumpkin spice lattes is Minneapolis, followed by Seattle (2nd). With blistering cold winter storms, it’s no wonder those in Minneapolis want to curl up with a comforting PSL as the cooler weather sets in.
It’s also no surprise that Seattle made the list, since it’s the birthplace of Starbucks and consequently the pumpkin spice latte.
It’s surprising that a few cities known for tropical or warm weather made the list, including Miami (3rd), Las Vegas (5th), Tampa (7th), and Los Angeles (12th). Sometimes you just need a PSL to help get you in the mood for fall.
Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice
The classic pumpkin spice latte is a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, steamed milk, espresso, topped with whip cream and pumpkin flavor. But in 2022, many of us are picky when it comes to our coffee. Iced, decaf, low-fat, non-dairy… the list goes on. We wanted to know the favorite type of PSLs across the nation.
Michigan clearly has the best taste in the country, as they mostly search for PSLs made with real pumpkin. It’s no surprise some states prefer an iced PSL, especially since they are sold closer to the end of summer than the beginning of fall. California and Wyoming mostly want an iced PSL, as well as those in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana
The top Googled PSL across the nation was the keto pumpkin spice latte. The keto diet has become increasingly popular over the past few years, so it makes sense that Americans are trying to find a way to make their favorite seasonal drink low carb.
Searches for pumpkin spice lattes usually peak in the month that Starbucks starts selling them. Before 2021, that was in September. Last year, there was a 1,264% jump in searches for PSLs from July to August. 2021 was the first year that Starbucks rolled out PSLs before September.
Fallin’ for Pumpkin Spice
We asked Americans how they really feel about the pumpkin drink. 67% of Americans like PSLs. When asked which company makes the best ones, a whopping 47% say Starbucks over McDonald’s, Dunkin, or a local coffee shop. 5% of Americans hide their love for PSLs from friends and family because they’re embarrassed that they like them.
69% think August is too early to start selling PSLs. 51% think coffee shops should start selling them in September, and 33% think they should start being sold in October. Over 1 in 4 (28%) think they should just be sold year round, rather than being a seasonal drink.
On average, Americans buy 3 PSLs every season, spending $12 on average every year on the drink. While they’re available, 27% will enjoy one weekly and 38% will buy one monthly.
While summer is yet to wind down, Starbucks could announce the kickoff of fall as early as this month. So get your knee-high boots, long cardigans, and plaid shirts out now – because pumpkin spice lattes could go on sale any day now.
Using the Google Ads platform, we analyzed search volume interest for “pumpkin spice latte” throughout the months of August to November 2021, which is the most popular time of year for pumpkin spice latte sales. Search volume was then calculated per capita. Analysis was conducted for all 50 states as well as the top 50 most populated cities in the US.
For this report, we also analyzed the most disproportionately popular Google search terms for each state. We compared each state’s search results to the national average in order to determine which search term has a higher search volume when compared to the national average. This method of analysis allows us to even the playing field between smaller states with lower populations or a lower search volume (such as Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, etc.) and states with a large population with higher search volume (California, Texas, Florida, etc.).
In July 2022, we surveyed 500 people to ask about their opinions on pumpkin spice lattes. Respondents were 49% male, 48% female, and 3% transgender/non-binary. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to 79, with the average age being 35 years old.
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