As a native of the Ozark Mountains, something happens to me in late September. When temperatures drop below 55 degrees, I ditch my raggedy “don’t much care for bein’ indoors” persona and transform into a knitting, cuddling beacon of hillbilly coziness. That also means snarfing down a ton of pumpkin-flavored shit. So you can imagine my dismay when I discovered the pumpkin spice tax, a phenomenon that involves retailers marking up seasonal pumpkin goods by as much as 175.1%.
To nail down this year’s hefty pumpkin spice tax, MagnifyMoney researchers gathered data on 80 grocery products (40 pumpkin and 40 non-pumpkin) across six retailers. They also included 26 coffee beverages (13 pumpkin and 13 non-pumpkin) in the study. The findings were dire: Researchers found an average pumpkin spice tax of 8.8%, a notable increase from the 8% pumpkin spice tax MagnifyMoney discovered in 2017.
In fact, some festive products came at a pretty exorbitant markup this year. Get this: The highest pumpkin spice-related markup is 175.1%. Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday pumpkin spice cheesecake sandwich cremes cost 41 cents an ounce; its chocolate sandwich cremes cost 15 cents an ounce.
Also, in news that will surprise absolutely no one, the average Starbucks pumpkin spice-themed drink costs 15.9% more than its non-pumpkin counterpart. However, Dunkin’s pumpkin-flavored beverages cost the same as its non-seasonal offerings. God bless.
Finally, Trader Joe’s had the largest average pumpkin spice tax at 17.8%. I’m fine with that, as I’m willing to shell out a little extra for Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s. Listen: Pumpkin stuff is good, despite Barstool Sports’s continued disparagement of people (women) who enjoy eating perfectly tasty things. If I have to drop slightly more dough to get into hibernation mode, so be it.