Pumpkin Spice Shortage Impacts Maryland Residents

August 21, 2015 | By | Reply More

Of all the harbingers of autumn that start to emerge as summer begins to peter out and the kids go back to school, none has become more ubiquitous over the past five years than the appearance of pumpkin spice-flavored…well…everything.

But just weeks before the official start of fall in Maryland, some shocking news may put a damper on this seasonal celebration. In a press release issued earlier this week, the Mid-Atlantic Association of Pumpkin Spice Manufacturers said that due to wetter-than-usual conditions this year in China and parts of India, two major pumpkin-producing countries, supplies have been be severely affected, which will disrupt manufacturing in the United States. Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, which are at the end of the distribution network, will be most-severely affected by the shortage.

Word Spreads Over Social Media

The news sent shockwaves across social media accounts regionally, especially on Pinterest, where pinning activities devoted to pumpkin spice this time of year eclipse those of mason jars, wooden pallets, and wine memes until after the Christmas season. Facebook feeds, usually consisting of quizzes such as “Which Downton Abbey Character are You” and videos demonstrating better ways to cut watermelon, were filled with outrage and sad-face emoticons regarding the news.

Area retailers such as Starbucks, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Dunkin’ Donuts, among others, reacted swiftly, posting updates on their websites and taping signs on their doors. Although the shortage has panicked thousands of Marylanders, primarily white women, the effects were felt more heavily in certain areas of the state, such as Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and Potomac, where high-end, luxury SUVs gathered in the fire lanes and handicapped parking spaces of posh strip malls, and women milled aimlessly together is small, yet vocal, groups.

Maryland Women Angered by the News

Bitsy Caldwell of Chevy Chase whose husband is an investment banker.

“My husband is an investment banker and it is ridiculous and appalling that I cannot get a simple pumpkin-spice latte on the way to my personal trainer,” said Bitsy Caldwell of Chevy Chase from behind her Maui Jims sunglasses. “My husband is making calls right now and this will be rectified. I can promise you that. Because he is an investment banker.”

Others lamented that the missing flavor was having a severe impact on the personal lives of themselves and their families.

“It’s a seasonal thing that I look forward to all year,” said Mitzi Levine, of Bethesda from behind the wheel of her Lexus LS F Sport. “I have the kids all summer, when they’re not at sleepaway camp, day camp, or with the summer nanny and, frankly, the arrival of pumpkin-spice flavoring symbolizes my getting my life back. And my husband is a cosmetic surgeon.”

Solutions Being Sought, But to No Avail

Starbucks, for one, has contracted with suppliers, to quickly come up with some alternative autumnal flavors to substitute as menu items. So far, they have tried apple-ginger, squash –cinnamon, and yam-sweet potato, but none have seemed toconnect with consumers in the same way as pumpkin.

“It’s disgusting and I won’t drink it,” said Maribelle Davenport, of Potomac, on her way to Lululemon. “I want my pumpkin spice coffee and I deserve my pumpkin spice coffee. My husband is a patent attorney and he agrees with me. If I wanted plain coffee, I’d just go to 7-Eleven like I was from Gaithersburg  or Wheaton or something.”

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Category: State of Maryland

About the Author ()

I am the Assoc. Editor for The Crabwrapper--please do not leave off the "oc" because I will totally go postal on you. Women are NOT to be objectified! Basically, my job is to try to prevent shit from getting up the chain to my boss Mark. Oh, and I do write some stuff too!

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