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According to recent statistics, Canadians gulped down more than 1.2 million litres of pumpkin-spice latte last year, primarily from Starbucks, which added the item to its menu in 2004.

In today's competitive fast-food world, following the money means following the pumpkin.

McDonald's Canada is diving headlong into the pumpkin-flavoured latte market that has poured millions into the coffers of coffee giant Starbucks for the past decade.

Starting now, McDonald's restaurants across Canada and the United States will begin serving up their own version of a pumpkin-spice latte, which will be available at Canadian outlets until Oct. 21.

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According to recent statistics, Canadians gulped down more than 1.2 million litres of pumpkin-spice latte last year, primarily from Starbucks, which added the item to its menu in 2004.

The new McDonald's pumpkin latte is a mix of espresso, milk and flavoured syrup and comes in three sizes. Customers can request their hot drink be prepared with either whole or non-fat milk.

A 16-once McCafé pumpkin latte with whole milk costs $2.89.

The world's largest restaurant chain, McDonald's has been experimenting with its menu in recent months with higher-end items such as chicken wings, McWraps and steak breakfast sandwiches. At the same time, McDonald's has been expanding its value menu to attract penny-conscious customers.

In recent years, pumpkin doughnuts and other pumpkin-flavoured treats have been popular items on the menus of Tim Hortons, Second Cup and other franchises each fall.

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