In 2003, Starbucks introduced its Pumpkin Spice Latte. It became an enormous sensation, even after we found out that there is no pumpkin at all, or even butternut squash, in the drink. The entire flavor came from the spices, a combination which cooks have known as pumpkin pie spice for a long time. It's a blend of flavors we adore because 1. it tastes good, 2. it's associated with autumn, which we love, 3. it has no real connection with Halloween, so it can be enjoyed through the other holidays and by those who don't do Halloween.
You may get the idea that the pumpkin spice craze has gotten out of hand, but even when it dies back, and it will sooner or later, we will still consume the flavor combination one way or another. Possibly in a pie. Read a history of pumpkin spice at Moss and Fog. -via Nag on the Lake