It may still technically be summer, but according to Starbucks, fall is most certainly in full swing. The fan-favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte has been available in stores since August 28, marking the 15th anniversary of the iconic autumnal beverage.
While there are plenty of people who unabashedly love the PSL (so much that Starbucks felt the need to create a "support group" for those overzealous fans of fall), the drink has also been met with a mysterious backlash over the years, becoming essentially synonymous with the not-so-nice term "basic." (Other things that have been declared basic? Leggings, infinity scarves, Uggs — pretty much anything that has achieved widespread popularity among young people, particularly women.) Of course, that hasn't stopped folks from flocking to Starbucks en masse to pick up their PSL, and research has shown that the drink tends to boost sales significantly each fall.
Another person who couldn't care less about the PSL's "basic" reputation? The beverage's creator, Peter Dukes. In conversation with Business Insider's podcast, Household Name, Dukes, who still works with Starbucks, explained that "People seem to have fun with the PSL." Dubbing the drink "a marker of fall," Dukes added: "And, if that's basic so be it."
Interestingly enough, when Dukes's team first came up with the PSL, they weren't sure whether or not it would succeed, calling it a "long shot." But just like today, the proof was in the sales. "I'll never forget coming in and...looking at the numbers and how well it sold and then you just knew you had a winner," Dukes told Household Name.
Despite the fact that "basic" is sometimes used as a throwaway term in a joking (and often self-depreciating) manner, it's worth noting that making fun of people — especially young women — for liking similar things isn't OK. Moreover, there's nothing wrong with loving a particular season or drink, nor is there anything "silly" about expressing excitement for things you genuinely enjoy. After all, everyone is entitled to their own personal preferences, and no one else gets to decide what those should be.
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