American consumers ought to be used to seeing seasonal marketing campaigns that just seem to arrive far too early. It is no longer much of a surprise to see stores across the country starting to remind consumers about Christmas before the end of October, but that does not mean the early arrivals of other seasonal marketing campaigns likewise lack the capacity to astonish. This is why Kim Bettasso was surprised to notice the ubiquity of pumpkin-flavored beverages about a month earlier than normal. After a brief investigation, the financial advisor learned the rationale behind the early release was not entirely due to a marketing strategy.
Many of the main producers of pumpkin-flavored beverages operate out of Oregon, where a heat wave accelerated the growth of the pumpkin crop to a significant degree. With ripe pumpkins halfway through August, manufacturers had to make use of the ingredients according to nature’s schedule and not their own, leading to the summer release of beverages typically associated with autumn. The unseasonably hot Oregon weather also had an impact on other crops that are traditionally included in these beverages, forcing the hand of many beverage companies who may have preferred to release these particular drinks at a later date.
After a deeper examination, however, it became clear that it was not just the heat that led to the early marketing campaign. Several manufacturers planned for an earlier release than in previous years, so the pumpkin crop was actually planted earlier than usual. The heat did accelerate the growth of the crop, causing the pumpkins to achieve ideal ripeness earlier than expected and making it necessary for the release of the beverages in late August instead of the middle of September. The schedule was accelerated to such a degree in other parts of the country that there were some pumpkin beverages released in early summer, so perhaps a spring release is not too far off.