The #PSL Launch Caused a Record Spike in Starbucks Traffic

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, both hot and iced

August 2023 saw some of the hottest summer days on record across the United States, which might have made the August 24 return of the autumnal Pumpkin Spice Latte seem comically premature. But heatwaves apparently didn’t do a thing to dampen the success of Starbucks’ most popular annual rollout—in fact, maybe people bought the #PSL aspirationally, itching for a taste of fall. Whatever the case, new data shows that foot traffic spiked at Starbucks on PSL launch day more than in any year since at least 2017. Yes, it’s still that popular. Even in August.

The success of the 2023 Pumpkin Spice Latte launch at Starbucks

According to foot traffic analytics firm, the number of average visits per venue—that is, the foot traffic at each Starbucks location—spiked 26.4% on PSL launch day over a baseline of June 1, 2023. It was also the biggest single-day spike attributed to PSL launch day since started measuring such data, with 25.1% more traffic on this year’s launch day than the Sept. 5 release in 2017. The only other year foot traffic came close to this spike was in 2019, with a 19.3% increase.

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