Customers purchasing pumpkin spice lattes tend to have an average check 10% higher than non-buyers.
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, according to 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% higher than non-buyers. PSL purchasers spend an average of $3 more when PSLs are purchased, but they make three 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% have a household income of $75,000 and above. PSL fans skew slightly more female (53%) than male and 45% of them are 45 years and older. Over 60% 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,” said 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.”