New York (CNN) — Wendy’s is entering the pumpkin spice wars.
For the first time, Wendy’s is adding a pumpkin spice-flavored Frosty to its menus for a limited time beginning September 12.
Wendy’s said the new flavor “merges the same creamy, delectable texture Frosty fans know and love with hints of pumpkin and a blend of warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg for a taste of familiar fall flavors in every bite,” in a press release.
For marketers, seasonal products are a crucial way to create buzz. Often, they pick items that make people feel a certain way — nostalgic, or excited for a new season — but that are too indulgent to buy more than a few times a year. The ‘limited-time only’ availability boosts the appeal.
Adding pumpkin spice-flavored drinks seems like a no-brainer for Wendy’s since the flavor keeps growing in popularity, partly because of Starbucks. Their Pumpkin Spice Latte has become a reliable hit, making it an autumn(ish) mainstay that has given the coffee chain a seasonal sales boost during this time of year over the past two decades. Dozens of other food products, from pumpkin spice Oreos to jelly beans, hot chocolate mix and cream cheese have crammed into the market.
Wendy’s has found success in experimenting with its Frosty flavors. Pumpkin spice becomes the Frosty’s sixth-ever flavor, joining the limited time edition ranks of peppermint, strawberry and birthday cake. Usually, Wendy’s only sells chocolate and vanilla versions of the milkshake-like treat, with the latter flavor taking a break this fall.
Carl Loredo, global chief marketing officer at Wendy’s, previously told CNN that it’s seen “great success” with seasonal flavors and wants to maintain the momentum. He declined to reveal specific sales numbers of the special Frosty flavors.
The chain doesn’t mix up its Frosty flavors as nearly as often as McDonald’s does with its McFlurry lineup. In 2019, the company added a birthday cake Frosty for a limited time for its 50th birthday, the vanilla Frosty was added to menus in 2006 and it launched with the chocolate Frosty in 1969.
Also for a limited time this year, Wendy’s is adding a pumpkin spice-flavored cold brew coffee drink, which uses the “same delicious syrup from the pumpkin spice Frosty,” it said.
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