Pumpkin Eggnog

Foodie Friday and suddenly, it’s late Fall. The leaves are mostly down, the weather seems worse (and a lot colder), and a trip to the supermarket reminds us that the holidays are nigh. One of the most in your face manifestations of this is the sudden, overwhelming appearance of eggnog. Taking it “one louder” is something out of a horror movie called Pumpkin Eggnog, which I suppose is a reason to put what is a traditional Christmas drink out on the shelves at Halloween.

This got me thinking about seasonal spices and flavors.  If you were to shut your eyes and think about the flavors of this time of year it’s all ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice with a handful of poultry seasoning thrown in.  Peppermint rears its head in December.  Those are not seasonings you’d think of for a Fourth Of July party.  Which is a good business thought on which to end the week.

Tastes change.  Consumer’s appetites for certain products is not a constant.  Something as simple as the weather or time of year can have a dramatic effect on sales.  Not much news there.  What is worth thinking about, however, is because those ebbs and flows take place over time it’s critical to compile years of data and look at the year over year pacing.  Yes, eggnog sales fall off when Spring rolls around.  But is the fall off any different from how it was the year prior or are we taking the easy path of saying”oh, it’s just a seasonal change.”  That can mask danger signs.

I won’t be drinking any pumpkin eggnog.  I will, however, be doing a lot of data analysis over the next couple of months as my clients and their businesses change seasons.  I think I’ll enjoy that more than a mug full of pumpkins and eggs.

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