The customer’s love for all things pumpkin spells opportunity.

It was mid-August, summer vacation was still a week away, when we first saw them at our local crafts store: pumpkins…artificial pumpkins…suitable for carving, and already on sale at a deep discount.

Less than harmless, maybe even a little forlorn-looking, the sight nevertheless drove home a point of which we’ve become increasingly aware: pumpkins and pumpkin-related items are everywhere, no longer confined to a few pockets of awareness around Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

In the Salinas Valley, the signs are everywhere:

Likewise, pumpkin-related products are no longer limited to jack o’lanterns and pies, as this list of the latest pumpkin and pumpkin spice productsalready on the shelves!—indicates.

You could say its become a national movement, as the amount of pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavored foods has proliferated in the last few years. There’s pumpkin beerspumpkin candy, pumpkin cereal, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin spice breakfast biscuits, and yeah, of course, pumpkin flavored cough drops.

This demand is no surprise to you if you are a convenience store owner or manager, especially if you are tracking your sales and inventory patterns using a powerful back office system like SSCS’s Computerized Daily Book. If you examine the sales data provided by this kind of technology, you’ve likely noticed the continual increase in availability and sales of pumpkin-related products. With the actionable information provided by our software making these sales patterns clearer than they’ve ever been before, you can adjust your product mix to accommodate the influx of new items, see what is and what isn’t selling, and decide if any of them are worth promoting further, something SSCS automation can definitely make easier for you, too.

Given that ground zero for the pumpkin spice craze almost never happened, we can’t take its beneficial impact on the convenience store industry for granted. Come to think of it, now might just be the time to elevate the profile of pumpkin-related products in your convenience store, given the current lull between the end of summer and the high-profile holiday seasons soon to come. And we’re not just saying that because pumpkins are almost the same color as the SSCS logo.