There’s a new contender for the flavor of fall.
By Rieva Lesonsky
‘Tis the season. No, not that season—not yet. It’s fall, and apparently these days that means everything from donuts to coffee to candles to beer comes in a pumpkin spice flavor or scent.
But Refinery29, a digital media company targeting women, noted in a recent newsletter that the ubiquitous autumn spice might be on the way out—only to be replaced by maple. Well, maybe “replaced” is jumping the gun. Jenna Layden, a member of the Whole Foods product development team, told Refinery29 that while there hasn’t been a significant decline in pumpkin spice sales, maple flavored and scented items “are indeed on the rise.”
Layden partially credits maple’s sales spike to heightened interest in fall flavors—all thanks to pumpkin spice. Plus, she adds, maple goes well with other seasonal flavors such as gingerbread. Consumers are also interested in maple, Layden says, as an “alternative to traditional sweeteners, like cane sugar.”
Layden thinks it will be hard to knock pumpkin spice from its fall throne, but notes that over the past five years, there’s been a marked increase in “product launches with maple.” She told Refinery29 that maple’s popularity today is comparable to where pumpkin spice was five years ago, before it launched into the flavoring stratosphere.