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Starbucks' Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew outsold the PSL this fall, as pumpkin sales hit record highs at the coffee giant

  • Starbucks sold more Starbucks' Pumpkin Cream Cold Brews than its classic Pumpkin Spice Latte this fall. 
  • Sales of all pumpkin-flavored drinks reached record highs in 2020, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said on a call with investors on Thursday. 
  • Starbucks launched its fall drinks earlier than ever in 2020, with the Pumpkin Spice Latte returning to the menu on August 25.  
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This PSL season, cold brew reigned supreme. 

Starbucks sold more Pumpkin Cream Cold Brews than classic Pumpkin Spice Lattes this fall, CEO Kevin Johnson said on a call with investors on Thursday. 

The coffee chain's sales in the US and Canada declined 9% in the most recent quarter, with transactions down 25%. However, sales of all pumpkin-flavored drinks still managed to break average-daily-unit records, according to Johnson. 

Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte and other autumnal drinks returned earlier this year than ever before, hitting menus on August 25. Dunkin's Pumpkin Spice Latte also returned early, hitting menus on August 19. 

Read more: Starbucks and Dunkin' are starting Pumpkin Spice season earlier than ever, as customers grow desperate for 2020 to end

The company has been growing its cold beverage sales and "optimizing" innovation in the category, according to Roz Brewer, the chain's chief operating officer and head of the US business. 

While Starbucks has not fully bounced back from its pandemic slump, the coffee giant said it is recovering faster than anticipated and is optimistic about 2021. 

The company introduced its 2021 guidance on Thursday, predicting that same-store sales will grow 17% to 22% in the US in the next fiscal year. Starbucks executives said the company expects US locations to achieve full comparable sales recovery by the end of the second quarter. 

With PSL season coming to a close, it is time for Starbucks' famous red cups to make their return. The company announced on Thursday that its holiday menu will launch next week. 

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