No Pumpkins, More Problems

With pumpkin in your latte, your ravioli, or your bowl of cereal, it’s easy to forget that pumpkin is first and foremost a crop. As a result, something as seemingly minor as bad weather can create significant problems for manufacturers and retailers of pumpkin-flavored treats. This was the case in 2016, when heavy rains in Illinois over the previous years resulted in a bad crop, which then caused a pumpkin shortage the following fall.

Because of the seasonality of the product, pumpkin purveyors, such as brewers of pumpkin beers, can’t just wait for a later crop, since sales of pumpkin-flavored beers typically drop off after Halloween. In the case of the 2016 shortage, this meant that brewers and other retailers had to look for new suppliers who could provide stock in time, but often at a higher price because of the tight market.

Although some speculate that we’ve hit the peak of our collective pumpkin obsession, and that demand for elaborate pumpkin treats will drop off in coming seasons, we can all agree that sitting down with friends and family to enjoy a slice of good old pumpkin pie will never go out of style.


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