The Pumpkin Spice Latte Arrives Early to Help Boost Starbucks’ Stock

And everyone is happy.

Stroll through a Hobby Lobby in July and you’ll see aisles dedicated to Christmas decor as Christmas in July celebrations regularly take place across the nation. But as we slide into the last days of August, some people might not yet be ready for fall-themed drinks.

However, Starbucks doesn’t think it’s too soon, as the Pumpkin Spice Latte is set to make its annual appearance on Aug. 28 this year: The earliest arrival since 2014 when only select customers received the drink on Aug. 26, according to Business Insider. And the reason Starbucks is launching the beverage early could have something to do with boosting sales in light of recent events that might have hurt the company’s business.

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And there’s no doubt the Pumpkin Spice Latte is an annual hit: Starbucks has made more than $70 million from the drink since 2003. It makes sense that Starbucks would want to continue capitalizing on the popular beverage.

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The annual launch this year, conveniently scheduled to sync up with coffee-drinking students going back to school, might be more related to a sense of financial urgency rather than kicking off the fall season with its release. Starbucks announced the closing of 150 stores this past June — more than three times the stores it usually eliminates, according to Forbes. And the coffee company’s stock price performance has been flat, rising only about 1 percent in a thriving market.

In addition, Starbucks’ CEO Kevin Johnson announced in the first part of 2017 that the company’s newest specialty beverages weren’t selling as well as hoped. In 2017, the company’s total revenue was approximately $22.4 billion, slightly up from $21.3 billion in 2016.

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Although Starbucks introduced some new holiday drinks in 2017, its main holiday drinks have been:

  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Caramel Brulee Latte
  • Chestnut Praline Latte

Aside from holiday beverages, Starbucks reported on Instagram this month that its top-selling beverages on college campuses are:

  • Starbucks Double-Shot on Ice
  • White Mocha Frappuccino (with an espresso shot)
  • Triple Grande Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte
  • Iced Coconut Milk Latte
  • Espresso Frappuccino

So although it seems that there are some favorites that stand out, the one drink Starbucks can count on to bring in the big bucks each year is its Pumpkin Spice Latte. Even though the beverage has some social-media haters, there are plenty of people who can’t wait to order their first PSL of the season.

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