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Foodservice

Rutter’s Farms Stores Celebrates Pumpkin Palooza

C-store chain reveals new and returning limited-time items for fall

YORK, Pa. -- Rutter’s Farm Stores has brought back its popular, limited-time Pumpkin Palooza promotion. The lineup features yearly favorites and some new items and will be offered through the end of November.

Rutter’s has rolled out Pumpkin Rolls, Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino, Pumpkin Spice International Delights Creamer for coffee, a Perfectly Pumpkin Snack Tray, Pumpkin Fritters and a f’real Pumpkin Cheesecake Shake. Pumpkin-spice syrup will also join pumpkin-flavored creamer at all of Rutter’s coffee condiment areas, as well as at the espresso bar.

“Many of our customers look forward to the fall season and the opportunity to purchase pumpkin-flavored treats. We are happy to bring such a variety of items to our customers with Pumpkin Palooza, so that they can get their fall pumpkin fixing,” said Chuck Moyer, foodservice category supervisor.

Some observers may lament the early return of pumpkin-flavored items; in recent years, the pumpkin push has taken place well before the official start of fall. But convenience stores and restaurants aren’t just following a promotional fad with pumpkin by jumping out ahead of the season a bit early; research shows that they’re actually meeting a consumer preference head-on.

About a third of consumers surveyed for Technomic’s most recent Dessert Consumer Trend Report prefer pumpkin flavors for coffee, while 53% prefer pumpkin pies and 45% are eager to see pumpkin appear in baked goods across the category. Overall, 30% of consumers are more interested in fall flavors than they were just a year ago, according to Technomic’s 2015 Flavor Consumer Trend Report. Among these consumers, pumpkin and pumpkin spice are their top preferred fall flavors.

Also, restaurant operators told Technomic that fall flavors have the greatest influence on seasonal menu innovation. Pumpkin was significantly more likely to be called out as a menu influencer by these operators, outpacing even other fall flavors, such as apple and cinnamon.

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