McDonald’s McRib, the famous fast-food “barbecue” sandwich with a cult following, is back for a limited time. This is one of the most popular seasonal items on the American menu along with Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Similar endeavors of other fast-food chains include seasonal turkey sandwiches from Subway, Dunkin’s slew of pumpkin-flavored treats, Coca-Cola’s Christmas trucks, and others.

Why are seasonal items all the rage?

Well, limited-time offers tend to affect the psyche. Seasonal food marketing is a strategic way to ensure customers crave items that they cannot get around the year.

Limited-time offers and exclusive products attached to different seasons have a dual impact. Seasonal marketing is all about creating campaigns that align with the latest trends, events, and holidays. Targeting these big occasions, identifying appropriate opportunities, and creating a brand message is an effective way to capitalize on them.

Consumer behavior changes with a changing season, and marketers pay close attention to them. They offer a unique opportunity for brands to create a deep and meaningful connection with their audience.

Holiday items offer consumers of fast-food chains some variety, particularly as they must rely on familiarity all year long. Specialty items are exciting, and even if they come back every year, it helps consumers associate the product with a special occasion.

The science behind seasonal marketing

Seasonal marketing employs basic supply and demand economics. Scarcity increases demand, and limited-time releases build hype and provide customers with unique, seasonal offerings create excitement for the menu along with celebrating each season.

Pumpkin spice and fall now go hand in hand. It smells of autumn and signifies Halloween and Thanksgiving. Starbucks is not only the brand to use the pumpkin spice craze, but it is the leading one.

Across the food brands, we have a plethora of fall delicacies to choose from: pumpkin spice cereal, pumpkin spice lattes, and even pumpkin-flavored craft beer. In a few short weeks, the seasonal marketing flavors will change into yule log, peppermint, and gingerbread.

Seasonal marketing and trends

In the age of social media, trends are highlighted and have even more impact than before. Pumpkin spice is now an established fall marketing flavor. Changing demographics and swift social change may have this flavor evolve further.

Relying on analytical data is imperative here. The ebb and flow of trends will inform future decisions. Marketers today use predictive analyses to understand their audience better and see where trends are going.