Pumpkin season is certainly upon us—everything from lattes to pasta seems to be going orange for fall. But pumpkin season for actual pumpkins is getting a lot weirder as a result of all the hype. The market demand for stranger squash has many farmers breeding hybrids that appeal to newer tastes.
The Ackerman family in Illinois was recently featured in a Bloomberg Business article. The Ackermans are all too familiar with pumpkin season—they’ve been growing since 1999. But lately, they’ve been including some very different gourds in their crop rotation. “While plenty of customers still buy the traditional-looking pumpkins at this time of year, demand has surged for ones with different colors, shapes and deformities—like all pink or white with red veins or covered in bulbous warts.” In fact, the Ackerman family now sells over a 160 different kinds of pumpkins.
The weirder the pumpkin, the bigger the premium, as people increasingly prefer the odder varieties. “Seed companies like W. Atlee Burpee & Co. and Rispens Seeds Inc. have responded by developing hundreds of new varieties in recent years.” People embrace pumpkin season by including the unique varieties in their festive decorations. The pumpkin season craze has gotten so popular that, “production of all types [of pumpkin] has surged 31 percent since 2000 to 1.91 billion pounds in 2014.” Meanwhile, the third-generation owner of Rispens Seeds Inc., Ross Rispens knows that pumpkin season has changed the industry. Rispens Seeds, “has been selling seeds for 87 years…It now markets more than 75 different kinds of pumpkins, compared with six in 1978.”
Non-traditional pumpkins are more popular and more expensive when pumpkin season starts near Halloween. “At Bengtson’s Pumpkin Fest in Homer Glen, Illinois, non-traditional pumpkins sell for 59 cents a pound, 20 cents more than traditional orange ones.”
Pumpkin season today showcases how far one product has come from pie filling. By recognizing a change in the market, and capitalizing on it, growers and seed producers have made pumpkin season highly profitable. While we may not all have a green thumb for gourds, if you’re interested in growing some wealth of your own, contact an expert at Apex Financial Advisors today.