Nielsen: it’s pumpkin season

17 Sep 2015

Market researcher Nielsen notes this season commonly calls to mind falling leaves and cooler weather – but over the last few years, it has also heralded an invasion of pumpkin in the grocery aisle. These days, says the company, there isn’t a pumpkin-flavoured product U.S. consumers aren’t willing to try. It’s clear that pumpkin flavour has […]

Nielsen: it’s pumpkin season

Pumpkin_Pie.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscapeMarket researcher Nielsen notes this season commonly calls to mind falling leaves and cooler weather – but over the last few years, it has also heralded an invasion of pumpkin in the grocery aisle. These days, says the company, there isn’t a pumpkin-flavoured product U.S. consumers aren’t willing to try. It’s clear that pumpkin flavour has found its stride and can be found in everything from cereal to ice cream and even oral care.

According to Nielsen data, the pumpkin flavour trend continues to grow and has become an integral part of fall diets. Last year, 37% of U.S. consumers purchased a pumpkin-flavoured product. And this means big dollars, Nielsen says: pumpkin products accounted for $361 million in sales in the last year alone, having grown 79% since 2011.

Pumpkin pie filling still dominates the market, with $135 million of sales in the last year. However, several other products also contribute to the significant sales.

While pumpkin bread, pies and baked goods are flying off shelves, the company notes, pumpkin flavour is also making its way into products that are captivating consumer curiosity. Pumpkin-flavoured dog food, oral hygiene and gum products not only exist,nbut are selling well. With sales of $12,878,380, $1,038,879 and $970,460, respectively, pumpkin-flavoured goods show no sign of slowing down.

Even though pumpkin-flavoured products are on the rise, fresh pumpkin is not benefiting from the same acceptance. Sales of fresh pumpkins have been declining, with unit sale losses in 2011, 2013 and 2014 accounting for 8.6 million fewer pumpkins sold. While 50% of U.S. consumers are actively trying to lose weight, they’re overlooking fresh pumpkin to satisfy their craving, instead opting for indulgent treats like baked goods, dips and sweets, where sales have steadily increased.

The continual uptick in demand for pumpkin-flavoured products means classic and innovative pumpkin-flavoured items will likely continue to occupy store shelves into the fall season and through Christmas, Nielsen concludes.