Pumpkin Spice

by | Nov 4, 2019 | blog


Pumpkin Spice–it’s #basically everywhere, but why though?

Pumpkins have been around for a while (5,000 years) and spices have been around for a while too (maybe longer). But why is pumpkin spice everywhere now, and why is it such a polarizing issue?

Just a little bit of backstory, Pumpkins are as ubiquitous to North America as UGG boots, and that’s no joke! Pumpkins are seemingly everywhere, just like yoga pants and over-sized sweaters from September through January, and they are used for everything from decorations to sweets to savory treats (pumpkin seeds, anyone)? Kids love ‘em, adults buy ‘em. They are a staple of North-American life and lore, so what did they need in order to take over the whole world?

Pumpkin spice.

Now, if you are triggered by this word, you might need to step away for a little while, because it’s going to get all spicy up in here!

We’ve all seen it; pumpkin spice coffee creamer, eggnog, milkshakes, bread, lip chap, lotion, lattes, and more. So what’s a #basic gal to do if they don’t like pumpkin spice, and when did everybody get so #yeet about it anyway?

Pumpkin spice everything started way back in the way back, we mean way back in the way back. Think, 3,500 years ago! As a matter of fact, it seems that the Indonesians were getting into nutmeg way back then, and well you know the rest of the story about how crazy the Europeans were for spice (see all of European history, which would be a really long blog post). Cue some colonialism, empire building and what not, and 3,500 years later you have pumpkin spice madness, and over a half a billion dollars in sales of pumpkin-spice related paraphernalia.

So as you can see, pumpkin spice has been a thing for a very long time, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The fact that wars have been fought and continents traded in order to obtain the fundamental spices found in our latte’s, air fresheners and lip balms, is a testament to just how yummy and pleasing it is.

So why is it still a contentious issue?

Do you know anyone who just hates pumpkin spice? Likely these individuals have an aversion to pumpkin pie as well, and will take on the role of the silent victim or martyr when the issue is broached. Additionally, they will often be found mocking or making negative comments pertaining to people who do like pumpkin spice, and participate in the generating, liking and sharing of denigrating memes or posts on social media.

Which brings us back to the hashtag #basic, referenced a few times in this post. According to dictionary.com, here’s your definition:

“In slang, basic characterizes someone or something as unoriginal, unexceptional, and mainstream. A basic girl—or basic XXXX as she is often insulted—is said to like pumpkin spice lattes, UGG boots, and taking lots of selfies, for instance.”

How can a pumpkin spice lover recover from that? How do you defend a simple love of spices against the onslaught of those purported to be more cultured, more classy, more sophisticated, or simply less, basic? How long will the backlash against the popularity of pumpkin spice continue, and when will the UGG boots and legging-wearers of the world be freed from their persecution? Can we dream of a day where nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves can mingle in peace, free from the proliferation of witty memes and sarcasm?

We propose that in fact there will come a day, where the act of ordering a pumpkin spice anything will be the least basic, and most unique and rebellious thing you can do. On the other side of the backlash, there will come a day of retribution, and girls with messy buns, oversized sweaters and a penchant for the gingham filter on Instagram will once again be free to live their lives how they choose, because #basically, pumpkin spice is like, the best, like, ever.

3,500 years of history can’t be wrong!

About the Author

Rhea Allen, President/CEO and Co-Founder of Peppershock Media (est. 2003), is known for her story-telling passion and extreme diligence in obtaining effective media campaign results by planning and crafting relevant and compelling messaging.
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