No, you're not crazy. Pumpkin spice season is starting earlier this year, despite the ongoing sweltering heat.

  • Companies like Starbucks are releasing their autumn lineups earlier than in years past.

  • The iconic PSL is synonymous with fall, but apple, pecan, and maple are also on the menu.

  • The pumpkin wave isn't in your head. Data shows a 2,200% increase in pumpkin spice items for sale.

It may still be hot outside, but companies are already stating to roll out their autumn-themed products.

On Wednesday, Starbucks announced that its fall lineup, which includes its famous pumpkin spice latte, will be released on Thursday, August 24. This might seem early, but Starbucks is actually late compared to brands like Dunkin', 7-11, and Krispy Kreme, which have already launched their autumn flavors.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the pumpkin spice latte's release. It's also one of the earliest roll outs Starbucks has ever done for its autumn line. The only other time Starbucks released its fall products this early was in 2021, when it also dropped its festive drink menu on August 24.

Over the past decade, the latest date Starbucks released the fall lineup was in 2015, when the lineup dropped on September 8. During the 2010s, the release date was usually in early September. 

In recent years, the date has slowly moved up, with late-August release dates in 2018, 2019, and 2020, according to Starbucks blog posts from those years.

Starbucks' PSL might be the drink most synonymous with autumn – probably because Starbucks is the largest coffee chain in America – but it's not the only option.

Competing coffee chain Dunkin' reintroduced its fall lineup on August 16. Even earlier was Krispy Kreme, with its fall flavors dropping on August 7, and 7-11 beat them all by releasing its seasonal products on August 1.

Flavors like pumpkin spice and apple crisp are used for more than coffee drinks and sweet treats; boozy beverages and other consumer products are getting in on the action. Samuel Adams, Bath and Body Works, and other brands also recently dropped their fall offerings.

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