Tricked by the Treat: The Great Pumpkin Spice Swindle

Back in 2014, Vox called the pumpkin spice latte the “greatest trick capitalism ever pulled” and foolishly touted guava as the next big thing. But 4 years later, guava’s nowhere to be found, and the pumpkin spice trick is still, embarrassingly, our favorite treat.

Sales of the “unctuous, pungent, saccharine brown liquid”—or PSL—continue to climb, Forbes reported with a handy (pumpkin) pie chart. Beyond coffee, pumpkin spice has infected everything from popcorn to dog food to cat litter.

Never mind that the iconic lattes contain no pumpkin whatsoever, and that a grande cup with whipped cream boasts more sugar than a can of soda.

Naturally, the once-humble gourd has its own Instagram ambassador, Once Upon a Pumpkin, who looks to inject a certain “pumpkin spice factor” into every rust-hued post.

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