It’s the end of August, and in the United States, that seems to mean that fall is upon us. But make no mistake, this is not the fall that’s marked by changing leaves and chillier temperatures—that’s still a few weeks away in most regions, at least.
Rather, the fall that has already arrived is one that seems to creep up on consumers earlier and earlier with each passing year: the season of bulk Halloween candy, orange-hued greeting cards and, of course, the annual return of all things pumpkin spice. Just how did that humble spice mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger become the fall flavor, dominating seasonal menus across American restaurants and evolving to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars each season?
Below, Ad Age has compiled answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about pumpkin spice marketing as we head into yet another autumn.