Have you had your fill of pumpkin spice yet? Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL)? Pumpkin spice Life cereal? (I heard that after Halloween, the stores were marking down the cereal to a buck a box. I hope y’all stocked up!)
According to recent research, sales and profits generated from pumpkin-spice products have slowed after years of rapid growth. While the number of pumpkin-spice foods sold online has increased 49% since just 2016, overall sales have grown only 21% in the same time period.
America’s infatuation with pumpkin-spice flavored items may be over. And now, a forecast has been published that the next seasonal
flavor to sweep you off your feet is maple.
Sales of maple-flavored nonalcoholic beverages are up nearly 85% in the past year. Alcoholic beverages featuring maple flavoring are up more than 14%. Maple-flavored whisky (for instance, Crown Royal, Jim Beam, Knob Creek) may make fine holiday gifts this year.
Starbucks, the driving force behind the current pumpkin-spice mania, introduced the Maple Pecan Latte (MPL) this past September, and Dunkin’ Donuts released a maple-flavored beverage in August (which might have been a little too early in the season). Starbucks confirms that the PSL is its top-selling seasonable beverage ever, and the company has long seen the promise of maple. In 2007, the chain sold maple macchiatos in the U.S. and Canada, and the MPL was tested in South Korea before being introduced in the U.S. this fall.
Maple water is the liquid that comes straight from the tree (who doesn’t know what sap is?). It then gets boiled down into what we know as maple syrup. To make one quart of maple syrup, one starts with ten gallons of maple water. Maple water has seen so much growth, and Business Insider predicts it’s the “next coconut water.” It’s possible maple water sales could triple its value by 2020.
Maple is also nutritional. Organic maple contains more than 40 antioxidants and minerals and it’s lower in calories than other sweeteners. With the easy availability of maple syrup, consumers might start using the maple flavor more instead of canned or bottled pumpkin spice.
What do you think? This may be the start of a maple boom. Maple-flavored Chex cereal, maple M&Ms, maple English muffins. What could be next?