Pumpkin spice, the unofficial flavor for the fall season, could be more expensive this year than it was in the past, a new study says.
Magnify Money, a financial website, compared a total of 80 items, 40 pumpkin-spice flavored items and 40 regular items, from six grocery stores and coffee shops and found that, on average, pumpkin spice items cost 14.1% more than its counterparts.
Researchers analyzed products from Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, to determine the average pumpkin spice tax. Items from Starbucks, Blanket Street and Dunkin Donuts were also included in the study, the website said.
Known as the “pumpkin-spice tax,” this year’s seasonal items saw a 60.2% increase from where it was in 2020 when the tax was just 8.8%
Surprisingly, the item with the most significant markup was Trader Joe’s Spiced Teeny Tiny Pretzels. Researchers discovered that the fall-themed food item cost 50 cents an ounce while Trader Joe’s Honey Wheat Pretzel sticks cost 19 cents an ounce – a 161.1% markup.
The second highest rank item was the pumpkin spice pancake and waffle mix from Whole Foods’ 365 brand. That product was marked up 129.8% compared to the organic buttermilk pancake and waffle mix.
The study found that the 32-ounce seasonal mix retails for $5.49, while the 20 ounce organic mix is sold for $3.69.
The Pepperidge Farm Milano pumpkin spice cookies from Target had the lowest pumpkin-spice tax. The item cost 14.3% less than other cookie items from the same brand.
The retailer also sold cheaper pumpkin spice-flavored breakfast cereals, oatmeal, ice cream and mochi.
Whole Foods also had the highest pumpkin spice tax of the six retailers in the study. The grocery store charged its customers 27.8% more for pumpkin spice items. Trader Joe’s was ranked second, having a 26.8% pumpkin spice tax.
Starbucks, known for its pumpkin spice menu, charged customers an average of 14.1% more for pumpkin spice items, the study found.
Target charged its customers less for pumpkin spice foods. The study found that the retailer charges 3.4% less for its items.
While prices for pumpkin-spice foods were high, internet searches were down.
Google Trends data researchers analyzed showed that searches for pumpkin-spice foods have been steadily declining since 2018 when searches reached its peak.
The complete study can be seen here.
If you are craving anything pumpkin-spice flavored, experts from Magnify Money recommend shopping around for the best deal.