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Pumpkin spice and everything nice: PSLs return

Most people start to think about fall when the leaves begin to change and the air turns crisp, but for Starbucks and Dunkin’, fall begins in late August with the arrival of their signature pumpkin spice lattes, commonly known as PSLs.

Dunkin’ was the first of the two companies to bring back the popular drink on Aug. 21. Starbucks followed suit six days later on Aug. 27.

Before Labor Day passed, people began to flock to the popular coffee franchises for their early taste of fall. This brings up a question that many may be wondering about: what makes pumpkin spice lattes so trendy?

According to PRSA - Content Connection, one of the reasons why PSLs are so popular is that they make those who drink them feel nostalgic. Because pumpkins have been a symbol of fall for decades, drinking pumpkin spice lattes can conjure up fond memories of fall from years past. The positive feelings related to the drink may be a reason why the customers want to come back for more.

The pumpkin spice latte is also appealing to customers due to its online popularity.

Photo via Flickr/Will Hawkins
Starbucks brought back pumpkin spice lattes on Aug. 27, six days after Dunkin’

Posts about PSLs can be found on all social media platforms from Twitter to Facebook. Because of it becoming an online trend, social conformity has caused more people to go out and try the latte for themselves, making sure to snap a picture and post about it before taking a sip. According to PRSA - Content Connection, the PSL hashtag on Twitter has over 56.8 million tweets and counting. wrote of the advertising aspect of PSLs, saying, “More advertisers have added social media to the mix this year for their pumpkin spice campaigns, with 71% going this route, up from 64% last year.” also said that Starbucks is the biggest spender on pumpkin spicethemed ads as of Oct. 1, deciding to include print ads this year, which appeared in magazines like People and Food Network.

With Dunkin’ on campus, Seton Hall is very much involved in the pumpkin spice latte craze.
“I’m a fan of pumpkin spice lattes and always try to get them when they’re in season,” Emma Boeninghaus, a freshman biology major, said. “I think they’re so popular among college students because you can only get them around this time of year, so they try to take advantage of their availability.”

Despite its popularity, there are still people out there who hate pumpkin spice lattes.

“I think that pumpkin spice lattes are overhyped, and I don’t want to conform to the trend,” Hailee Joseph, a freshman biology major, said. “I think most people are only ordering them because of the trend, regardless if they like the taste or not.”

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Brooke McCormick can be reached at brooke.mccormick@


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