Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice: The Pumpkin Spice Trend

November 20 2014
The end of summer and the month of September can leave us unhappy and moody and looking for something to be excited about. Once September ends, the month of October always picks up our spirits up, since we can feel the Fall season approaching. The little things get us excited for Fall: sweater weather, boots, the autumnal colors, football, and of course, pumpkin spice. Pumpkin spice brings a sort of cozy feeling to the season. The taste and smell reminds us of the holidays to come.

This Fall season was all about pumpkin spice, which really rocks our world – in moderation, and appropriately applied. Starbucks first came out with a delicious Pumpkin Spice latte for the Fall kick-off last year The smell and taste of that latte is like pumpkin pie in a cup – therefore, perfection. But this year, the Pumpkin Spice trend is oversaturating the market. Not only does Starbucks have a latte, but also other mass-market chains such as Dunkin Donuts and McDonald's have a pumpkin spice coffee of their own. Keurigs seem to be a popular for those who prefer to brew coffee at home. We’ve even noticed that Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and other coffee brands have been selling boxes of Pumpkin Spice flavor k-cups to carry home with you.

In an explosion of pumpkin overexposure, lots of other products are hopping on this trend. There are Pumpkin Spice products in the sweets category; such as ice cream and m&ms. Bars and restaurants are also whipping up fragrant Pumpkin Spice cocktails, shots and martinis. Pinnacle has even created its own Pumpkin Spice flavored vodka.

And it doesn't stop there. Now there is Pumpkin Spice chips, bagels, jello, butter, yogurt, and beer. Americans love Thanksgiving – it’s part of our national identity. Of course, so do we, but we are drowning in a sea of spice! It’s just too much of a good thing, and maybe not so thoughtfully applied in terms of product development. Meanwhile, we are off to Starbucks for an afternoon coffee break – with a Pumpkin Spice latte, of course!

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The Fall Photo Season, 2014

November 13 2014
I wanted to take a moment to write about the two events that I participated in this past month – Hasselblad’s ShootLDN event in London, (where else), and the Palm Springs Portfolio Reviews at PhotoExpo in NYC.

Over the past three years, ShootNYC became an important destination for professional photographers, particularly those in the higher end part of the market, as Photo Expo has taken on a broader role in the photo world. Sadly, ShootNYC is no more, but this was year two of ShootLDN, and they have admirably taken on the role of serving up great suppliers and seminars for the UK photo community. The organizers couldn’t be more gracious, and I was assisted by the swoon-worthy head of PR for Hasselblad. I would brave the cold of a Swedish winter just to hang out with him.

Jeff Dunas has built the Palm Springs Photo Festival into a must visit event that takes place in Palm Springs. The mixture of talks, seminars, reviews, and lush, delicious dinner parties held outdoors in the soft Palm Springs evenings is totally seductive. Everyone comes together from all sectors of the photo business, from curators to art buyers to fine art photographer to commercial shooters to agents. It’s an amazing event, and it’s great that Jeff has pulled together corollary opportunities for portfolio reviews at the Expo for photographers based on the east coast who cannot attend the festival. It’s always an honor to review for them, and the level of photographers that I meet and review for is deeply impressive. Two different kinds of events, both equally important and pleasurable. I’m grateful to participate, and thankful that the organizers invite me to take part. Photo world people -- please consider attending yourself in 2015.

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