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While the pumpkin spiced latte might not be everyone’s cup of tea, what can’t be denied is that the distinctive flavour has become synonymous with autumn. As a result, it has been adopted for many uses, from artisanal coffees to an array of sweet treats. But the newest addition may surprise you. 

Kraft Canada has recently released its Pumpkin Spice KD, in short, putting a seasonal twist on the traditional macaroni and cheese dinner to include the distinct seasonal flavours: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.

The launch ties into novelty and experimental trends, relying heavily on the seasonal popularity of pumpkin spice, combined with an atypical flavour – in this case a savoury cheese – to generate online buzz, brand recognition and even comic relief during a period of high tension and anxiety. 

Prior to the pandemic, quirky flavour combinations in food and beverages were increasingly common, and with new baking trends having taken off during the lockdown period, it is likely that this experimental factor has not died down. In fact, how unique or enjoyable a product is still remains a key factor for the majority of consumers worldwide, who indicated that such attributes always – or often –  influence their purchasing decisions. 

Combine this with last year’s survey, in which 55% of global consumers reported that they like to try the newest flavours as soon as they are available, and it is clear that there remains a sizeable experimental base to test new flavour combinations. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the same survey found that this is largely driven by the Millennial demographic, with 64% of Millennials somewhat, or completely, agreeing with the statement.

Connecting with younger generations seems to be key to Kraft’s marketing plan. Pumpkin Spice KD will first be available through a 1,000-person giveaway conducted through Twitter, using the hashtags #PumpkinSpiceKMC and #Sweepstakes, before becoming commercially available. 

Social media platforms have time and again proven to be critical in engaging with millennial consumers, creating a loyal following, and recording consumer analytics that help design future business strategies. And this is ever more prominent during the pandemic, where many brands’ in store exposure has been limited.

Kraft’s attempt to leverage social media will work to its benefit, particularly during Covid-19, where much of the world’s population has become accustomed to digital lifestyles – in fact, according to GlobalData, 60% of global consumers admit that they plan to spend the same or more time browsing social media for the foreseeable future, whilst 51% will also be actively posting on such platforms.

Should the Pumpkin Spice KD successfully tap into this online community, it could take on a life of its own with the potential of similar products attempting to replicate the trending success.

For more insight and data, visit the GlobalData Consumer Intelligence Centre

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