Pumpkin Spice Tax Can Raise Costs By 161%


As the leaves start to change and temperatures drop, many people find themselves craving one thing: pumpkin spice. This flavor can be found in everything from coffee to candles, but it looks like the taste of fall is about to start costing people more than they bargained for. 

‘Pumpkin Spice Tax’ Reaches Double Digits For The First Time Ever

Adding pumpkin spice to your drink seems pretty basic, but one financial site is reporting the flavor will come at a price. According to MagnifyMoney, retailers slap a “pumpkin spice tax” on products that feature the sweetly spiced scent. 

This tax has been around since 2007, and it rises with the demand for pumpkin spice. This year, it’s higher than ever before, reaching double digits for the first time ever.

MagnifyMoney reports that this year’s pumpkin spice tax is 14.1%. This is 60% higher than 2020’s tax, which clocked in at 8.8%.

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The financial site has also broken down the costs per pumpkin spice-flavored product. According to them, the highest pumpkin spice-related markup is 161.1% on Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spiced Teeny Tiny Pretzels.

These pretzels cost 50 cents per ounce. In comparison, their Honey Wheat Pretzel Sticks go for 19 cents an ounce. 

Starbucks, which popularized the flavor combination with their pumpkin spice lattes, is charging 18.3% more for the seasonal drink. MagnifyMoney found that Starbucks is charging a dollar more for pumpkin spice lattes than they are for the regular Cafe Latte. 

The Company With A Negative ‘Pumpkin Spice Tax’

If you’re looking to buy pumpkin spice-flavored products on the cheap, it looks like Target is the way to go. The store charges less than its competitors for products with the fall flavor.

For example, their Pepperidge Farm Milano pumpkin spice cookies have a tax of -14.3%. Their pumpkin spice-flavored ice cream, cereal, and oatmeal also have negative pumpkin spice taxes. 

Whole Foods is the company with the highest pumpkin spice tax across the board this year, coming in at 27.8%. For comparison, Trader Joe’s tax is 26.8%, while Target’s is -3.4%. Their spiced pumpkin pancake & waffle mix come with a tax of 129.8%. 

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The tax might be higher this year, but that’s not because of increased demand. Google Trends data shows that searches for pumpkin spice lattes have been 29% lower this year than they were in 2018.

Pumpkin spice is synonymous with fall these days, but it looks like people craving the flavor have to be willing to shell out more this year for their autumnal fix. 

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