Pumpkin spice is a spice blend that typically contains ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and allspice. For decades, it has been synonymous with fall, and, over the years, its usage has spread from pumpkin pie to a larger range of baked goods and, perhaps most ubiquitously, beverages like the pumpkin spice latte. CivicScience asked more than 1,700 U.S. adults their feelings about pumpkin spice-flavored foods and beverages.

As the data show, 35% of U.S. adults say they like it a little. Twelve percent like it a lot. That means almost half of U.S. adults have positive feelings about this seasonal spice blend.

But is pumpkin spice seasonal, after all? To understand this, CivicScience asked more than 1,800 U.S. adults about when they begin to purchase and eat pumpkin spice-flavored foods and beverages. Among pumpkin spice fans, October was ranked the most popular month, with September close behind.

However, 14% are interested in getting their pumpkin spice fix as soon as it hits shelves. This could explain some of the motivation to push pumpkin spice-flavored items even before Labor Day.

Those who like pumpkin spice a lot are also the shoppers who are snapping up pumpkin spice baked goods and drinks as soon as they appear. Those who like it a little are most content to wait until October.

This suggests that there may be a few waves of pumpkin spice craze–the first one is in August, when these items make their debut. The second is in October, when it is, arguably, proper pumpkin time. 

Pumpkin Spice Does Not Run on Dunkin 

Even those only casually aware of pumpkin spice season are likely to have heard of the pumpkin spice latte. And regardless of where this beverage originated, lovers of the drink prefer Starbucks to Dunkin Donuts for their coffee. 

Those who like pumpkin spice a lot also tend to be the most frequent coffee drinkers. So while pumpkin spice-flavored food may be appealing, it seems that beverages may be where the real pumpkin spice interest lies.

Pumpkin Spice: Woman’s Best Friend 

For reasons the data cannot explain, it is clear that women flock to pumpkin spice at a much higher rate than men.

Interest in the seasonal taste is also highly dependent upon age, with the youngest adults showing the most enthusiasm over getting their pumpkin spice fix.

Ultimately, it seems that pumpkin spice may have developed a cult-like status among young, female Starbucks drinkers. Those who love it can’t get enough and are willing to begin enjoying their favorite spice blend as early as possible. Everyone else is content to wait until October.