Data & Intelligence

Search Battle: Pumpkin Spice Latte vs. The Flu

As the temperatures begin to dip in the midwest, your Facebook feed may convince you that pumpkin spice latte’s are at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

But are they really?

Let’s take a look at Google Search Trends to see who wins the search battle: hot drinks for cool weather or being under the weather.

Here is the (unlabeled) match-up between Pumpkin Spice Latte and The Flu:

Both are trending up. The blue line had a big spike on September 1st and then dropped. The red line has been steadily trending up since mid-August.

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Do you want to take a guess at which trend spikes and which trend lasts?

I don’t think you will be surprised to learn that the steady and consistent trend is for the flu.

We hate being sick even more than we love seasonal coffee.

Doctors in Louisiana are beginning to see waiting rooms fill up and Australia and New Zealand have already been hit hard as winter down under comes to an end.

In the 2016-2017 flu season, the flu vaccine was 48 percent effective and most effective (48%) for people age 50-64. On the flip-side, it was least effective (19%) for people age 18-49. Despite these odds, over 40% of adults 18+ chose to get a flu shot before the calendar flipped to December.

The formula for the flu shot, unlike the pumpkin spice latte, evolves continuously. A shot of a vaccine isn’t quite as enjoyable as a shot of espresso, but the trends say that as much as you love your pumpkin spice, there is one thing that you love even more:

Drinking one while healthy.

Thanks for the insight, Google Trends.


Search Battle Winner: The Flu

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Sharon Suchoval

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