Pumpkin has made it to the big time! What was once just pie filling, and a one-night-a-year, jack-o-lantern thing has turned into big business!

From pumpkin spice lattes, to scented candles, to pumpkin beer,  and even room deodorizers,  there’s hardly a product line that doesn’t include it!

So when did everyone jump on the pumpkin bandwagon? Well, Starbucks had a lot to do with it. 

If you can believe it, it was 11 years ago that baristas made the first pumpkin spice lattes. Now, the drink heralds the beginning of fall, and the Facebook page dedicated to it is so popular, it crashed this year shortly after it was launched! 

Other chains have increased the amount of pumpkin specialty items they feature by nearly 40 percent.

Dunkin Donuts has pumpkin cream cheese muffins, glazed pumpkin donuts, and pumpkin coffee.

At Einstein Brothers, they have 2 types of pumpkin bagels, Sonic has a pumpkin pie shake, and Caribou Coffee has a product line called Pumpkin Perfected, which includes a pumpkin white chocolate mocha, pumpkin bread and a pumpkin chai tea, and of course, there are the beers--too many to mention. In fact, there are over 100 breweries with pumpkin ales. Sam Adams makes a brew called Fat Jack, which is made with 28 real pumpkins per barrel! 

So what’s the deal with all this pumpkin? 

Well, Halloween is fast becoming one of the most celebrated holidays. We spend more on Halloween items than any other holiday besides Christmas. There’s also the nostalgia factor, that reminds people of homemade pumpkin pie and falling leaves.

But maybe the real reason for the pumpkin craze is that the scent is an aphrodisiac! According to the Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago, 40 percent of people find the smell of pumpkin enticing.