Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Pumpkin Spice to the Rescue

Ethan Chernofsky
September 2, 2021
Pumpkin Spice to the Rescue

It’s difficult to properly contextualize the overwhelming power of the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the excitement it generates. In 2019, and then again last summer in a season heavily affected by COVID, the drink consistently managed to drive significant visits to Starbucks locations nationwide.

And the push is incredibly strategic as it helps to herald in the coffee giant’s fall and winter strength after months of spring and summer. But could the launch deliver yet again?

The Unstoppable PSL

Looking at weekly visits compared to 2019 reinforces the tremendous recovery that Starbucks has seen in recent months. From February where visits were down well over 20% compared to the equivalent weeks in 2019, May and June were already showing visits back at or above 2019 levels. And the summer only fueled that growth with visits up all but one week since the start of July.

Yet, there were reasons for concern as the week just prior to the PSL launch showed visits down 2.4%. However, the PSL appears to have delivered once again with the week of the launch driving visits up 3.5% compared to the equivalent week in a strong 2019 summer season.

While the comparison to 2019 shows the strength of the week for the coffee giant, looking at visits week over week further highlights the power of the launch. Visits were up 12.3% week over week - a massive lift considering the huge number of regular Starbucks visitors each week nationwide and the regularity of those visits.

And the impact comes into even clearer view when looking at the offline performance of the brand on the specific days following the launch. Comparing each day to the four week window prior shows an average uplift of 14.9% over the six days following the PSL launch on Tuesday, August 24th. This culminated with a weekend surge that saw visits spike 20.8% on Saturday and 19.3% on Sunday compared to the four prior weekends. The PSL launch and its success is just the latest show of Starbucks’s unique ability to own the calendar and drive visits with seasonal products and campaigns.

Dunkin’s PSL Push

Starbucks wasn’t the only Pumpkin Spiced game in town this year. Dunkin’ launched its own PSL a week prior on August 18th. And the brand saw its own surge as well. Visits the week of the launch were up 8.4% compared to the equivalent week in 2019.

And the daily lift was significant as well. The first four days following the launch saw visits up an average of 12.2% compared to the three weeks prior. However, the level of growth did dissipate following the launch with Sunday, August 22nd seeing visits 5.2% lower than the average visits on the previous three Sundays. The overall success shows how significant these campaigns can be and how they can effectively be applied across a sector - even where there’s one brand more directly associated with it.

Will the PSL surge carry Starbucks’s growth into September? Visit to find out.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
All Eyes on Eyewear
Northwestern U.S. Grocery Dive
Return of the Lunch: Salad Chains Are Thriving
Retail Media Networks – Off the Beaten Track
Bet Your Bottom Dollar: Discount and Dollar Stores Drive Foot Traffic
Ulta & Lululemon: Discretionary Spending On The Up
The Score After Q1: Sporting Goods Chains
Who Uses NYC Airports: Biting Into The Big Apple’s Main Transport Hubs
Off Price: Strength in The Face of Retail Challenges
Visits Improve for Home Improvement
Walmart, Target & Wholesalers in Q1 2023 – The Return of Mission-Driven Shopping?
Department Store Roundup: Q1 2023 Office Index: April 2023 Recap Mall Index, April 2023 – A Rebound on the Horizon?
How Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s Bankruptcy Impact the Retail Space?
Buffet Restaurants: Filling Up on Foot Traffic
Thrift Stores: Vintage Visits Drive New Age in Apparel
The Windy City: A Hub of Post-Pandemic Opportunity
Diving into Dining Traffic - Q1 2023
Bring On The Joe
A Dollar (or more) For Your Thoughts: Five Below and pOpshelf
Dining Out With The Cheesecake Factory
Retail Foot Traffic Recap – March 2023
Digging Into 2023: McDonald’s and Chipotle Update Office Index: March 2023 Recap
How Did Key Retail Categories Perform in Q1 2023?
Northeastern USA Grocery Dive
Movie Theaters Storylines for 2023
Ollie's Bargain Outlet: Discounters are Evolving
Leveraging Brick-and-Mortar Retail in 2023
America’s Evolving Work Patterns: A Deep-Dive into New York and Chicago Mall Index March 2023
Tuning Into Record Stores
Five Franchises To Watch in 2023
What’s Next For Domestic Tourism?
It’s Showtime! Movie Theaters in the Spotlight
5 Limited Time Offers (LTOs) Driving Restaurant Traffic
Department Store Deep-Dive: Belk
Regional Grocery Chains Staying Ahead of the Competition
Five Chains that Rightsized for Success
Unlocking the Potential of Offline Retail Media Networks
Dining Out With Darden
What’s in Store for Self-Storage?
Nike & lululemon Update: Strong Performance Amid Expansion Plans
Many Ways to Win: Midwest Grocery Deep Dive
Retail, Reinvented: The Rise of the Pop-Up Shop
Navigating a New Normal in Business Travel & Commutes Office Index: February 2023 Recap
Retail Categories Staying Strong in Volatile Environment
Ulta Beauty: Poised for Success into 2023 Mall Index February 2023: Reasons for Continued Optimism
Catching Up With DICK’s & Hibbett
The Miami-Dade Arena: An Advertising Slam Dunk
Car Washes Revving Up Visits
Tuesday Morning and Sunrises in Home Furnishing
Dining & Valentine’s Day Recap
2023: The Year of the Discount Store
Aldi’s Success Highlights Growing Demand for Value Groceries
5 Retail & Service Categories Holding onto Pandemic Gains in 2023
Visitor Insights from Super Bowl 2023
2023 First Look: Home Improvement Update
How Are Target, Walmart, and Wholesale Clubs Faring in 2023?
Department Store Deep-Dive: Nordstrom
Off-Price: Taking Off in Uncertain Times
Checking in On Middle-Class Hubs
Who Attends the Super Bowl? Office Index: January 2023 Recap
Focusing On Fitness: Q4 and January Recap Mall Index: January 2023 – Returning Mall Normalcy?
Location Intelligence Insights Into Concert Attendance
Winning Dining Strategies for 2023
In-N-Out Burger: What to Expect as the Brand Moves East
Location Intelligence Breakdown: Coffee Caps-Off 2022
Digitally Native Brands Lean Into Brick & Mortar
Washington, D.C. Population Changes & Migration Trends
A Location Intelligence Perspective on Macy’s Rightsizing
Amazon-Powered Shopping: The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Grocery?
Cold Weather, Hot Visits: Diving into Winter Resorts
Wawa and 7-Eleven: Leaning Into the “Slurpee Effect”
2022 and Beyond: Catching Up With McDonald’s & Chipotle
Let’s Have Some Fun! Going Out Is In’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Index Adds Industry Executives to Leadership Team To Drive Company's Next Phase of Growth
5 Emerging Retail Formats: 2023’s Brick-and-Mortar Evolution
Grocery Update: Zooming in on the Lone Star State
2022 Office Recap: The Year of the TGIF Work Week
What Lies Ahead for Brick-and-Mortar Luxury in 2023 Mall Indexes: December 2022 Recap
Looking Back on 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
Post-Pandemic Migration Trends in New York
Top Retailers for 2023
The Live Sports Advertising Opportunity
Domestic Migration to the Mountain States: Small Shifts with Big Implications
New Year, New Food: 5 Dining Trends For 2023
This is Why Shop-in-Shops Are Everywhere
Super Saturday 2022 Recap
The San Francisco Shift
Grocery Year-End Update: Publix in the Spotlight
Three Ways Retailers Can Think Small to Increase Store Impact