It’s PSL Time! Pumpkin Spice Latte Limited Time Offers Are Still Working It for Fans and Foodservice Operators

Chicago, August 30, 2018 — Pumpkin spice lattes — a phrase so popular and used so frequently that it has been shortened to PSL — are now synonymous with fall and a highly anticipated annual tradition for fans and the foodservice operators offering them. PSL limited time offers have been around for over a decade and are still proving to be a winning promotion, reports The NPD  Group.

The payoff for chains offering PSL limited time offers are more visits and a higher average check size, according to NPD’s Checkout, a receipt harvesting research service that analyzes purchase behavior over time. Buyers of PSLs in the 2017 season visited twice as many times and had an average check 10 percent higher than non-buyers. PSL purchasers spend an average of $3 more when PSLs are purchased, but they make 3 times as many non-PSL purchases as they do PSL.

Who are these perennial purchasers of the pumpkin spice lattes? They tend to have higher incomes, 60 percent have a household income of $75,000 and above. PSL fans skew slightly more female (53 percent) than male and 45 percent of them are 45 years and older. Over 60 percent of pumpkin spice latte aficionados do not have children under 18 in the household, finds the Checkout analysis.

“It’s a winning strategy for coffee chains to continue to sell pumpkin spice lattes as a limited time offer. Consumers anticipate their availability and know the drinks are only around for a short period of time and this anticipation creates demand,” says Annie Roberts, vice president-foodservice at NPD. “In addition, pumpkin spice latte limited time offers have a positive impact on visit frequency and check averages as consumers tend to purchase food along with the beverage. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

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The NPD Group, Inc.
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