Let’s Discuss Data Over Coffee

Evelyn Chapman

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is a hotly contested beverage that gets its fair share of media focus every fall. So, when the seasonal flavor was released earlier than ever this past year, Apester crafted a series of polls to gage the true popularity of the drink among consumers. These polls were spread across Apester’s vast network of premium publishers and surveyed thousands of participants, providing audience intelligence in real time through 1:1 engagement.

Readers were asked if Starbucks was releasing their pumpkin spice latte too early, and out of the approximate 5,500 respondents, 58% said, yes, it was too early, 28% said no, the timing was perfect, and just 14% said it wasn’t released early enough. This lukewarm response intensified when readers across the same platforms were asked if they had had enough of the pumpkin spice latte trend altogether. Only 20% said no, while 18% said they were okay with it, and a whopping 62% said “God, take it away”.

If pumpkin spice loses its crown as Starbucks star seasonal flavour, what flavour could replace it? In a series of polls that asked readers to vote between pumpkin spice and several other flavors, pumpkin spice lost to every alternative including ginger snap, nutella, and even Milky Way. Some flavors were not only preferred but clear winners; brown sugar cinnamon, caramel apple, and chocolate covered almond were all preferred over pumpkin spice by an impressive 75%.

This is a clear indication of the value such insights have for companies like Starbucks, who could use this data to influence their business and marketing strategy. By contextually placing mobile (and millennial) friendly interactive units within articles across some of the largest publishers in the US, Apester generated a pool of varied and unbiased results that could help a large company decide not only when to launch which products, but which products to launch where, and who to market the products to based on the results from each publisher.

Apester’s audience insight was covered by multiple publishers, including USA Today, Food & Wine, Fansided and Fastcasual, all of whom were interested in the fact that Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte may be less of a seasonal favorite and more of a passing fad.

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