Starbucks is bottling and selling Pumpkin Spice Lattes in grocery stores

Pumpkin Spice Scourge.
Pumpkin Spice Scourge.
Image: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
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For some, the drink represents a trumpeting herald of autumnal bliss. For others, it’s the chief icon of America’s cultural “basicness.” Regardless of disposition, Starbucks is now bottling its Pumpkin Spice Latte to be sold over the counter in grocery stores across the US.

The move—announced this week—isn’t the first time the Seattle-based coffeehouse chain has decided to bottle a popular drink for sale in retail outlets. In 1996, the company’s then-CEO, Howard Schultz, pushed Starbucks to sell its Frappuccino drink in pre-packaged bottles. Two decades later, that product line is bringing in more than $1 billion a year in retail sales, according to data provided by Euromonitor.

The bottled version of the Pumpkin Spice Latte will be sold for about $2.79 for every 14-oz bottle, according to the company. In addition to its bottled drink, the company says it will also be selling a ground-coffee-flavored version, and small pods for Keurig-like machines.

The pumpkin-spice phenomenon was born in 2003 (after almost not happening), and since then hundreds of millions of the lattes have been sold. Along the way, the drink became part of an American cultural craze, a harbinger of the autumn, and an inspiration for other food companies looking to jump onto the pumpkin-spice bandwagon.

Krispy Kreme incorporated the flavor into a doughnut for a day; KIND Bars created a new flavored nut bar; General Mills unleashed limited edition pumpkin spice Cheerios; Nabisco made pumpkin spice crackers; Kellogg dreamed up pumpkin spice Nutri-Grain bars; the California Fruit Wine Company produced a pumpkin spice wine; even Lindor made pumpkin spice chocolate truffles. Nielsen data show sales of pumpkin-flavored foods in the US topped $360 million in 2015 alone, according to Forbes.