Many people appreciate nostalgic items that can take them back to their childhood, if only for a few moments. This is true whether it’s a food, a certain smell, or a specific toy they had when they were younger. Reminiscing about the past is something that often brings a smile to our faces, and being able to eat some nostalgic foods is certainly no exception. 

Who’s Looking Back?

Nostalgia is booming in the food and beverage industry, from grocery store shelves to the culinary world to restaurant menus. This isn’t really a surprise, considering millennials who grew up during the 1990s haven’t had the smoothest introduction into adulthood. More than any other current group, they are looking back to their childhood as a happier time full of fun, stability, and comfort.

 

That is not to say that other generations aren’t looking back, however. In fact, 70% of people over the age of 65 love things that remind them of their past. Combined with the 76% of people ages 22-55 who feel the same way, there are a ton of people who are interested in nostalgic experiences. Food brands are focusing on these age groups to harness the power of a nostalgia boom to connect with a wide demographic.

Noteworthy Food and Beverage Nostalgia

Regardless of their age, consumers are looking for some key features in products that “take them back” to years gone by. These features include:

 

  • Familiarity
  • Feelings of comfort and safety
  • Enjoyment that matches their original experience

Related: New Nostalgia and Multicultural Everything for Food and Bev in 2022

Some of the discontinued food and beverage items that are making a noteworthy reappearance include:

  • Frito Lay 3D Crunch Doritos
  • General Mills Golden Grahams Retro Recipe Cereal
  • Pepsi Blue six-packs and 20-oz. bottles
  • Good Humor Frozen Viennetta Cake
  • Yoplait Starburst Cherry Chew Flavored Yogurt
  • Yoplait limited-edition throwback flavors like Gushers and Skittles
  • Dunkaroos cookie and frosting packs
  • Post Birthday Cake Pebbles sweetened rice cereal
  • Koala Yummies cookies
  • Pepsi-Cola Soda Shop Cream Soda Cola
  • Campbell’s Spaghetti-O’s pasta in repackaged, retro cans
  • Kool-Aid Retro Jammers Rock-A-Dile Red drinks
  • Janie’s Pie Crust Cookies
  • Omsom seasoning starter packets
  • Chameleon Cold-Brew Gingersnap Organic Oat Milk Latte

 

 

Research shows that people are willing to pay a premium price for nostalgic food and drink items. Many sectors and manufacturers are tapping into this opportunity to offer nostalgia with every bite and gulp. 

More than Just What You Find at the Store

Grocery store shelves aren’t the only places you can find examples of this new food-nostalgia campaign. Restaurants are also bringing back some favorites and tapping into the gold mine that our pleasant memories offer. 

 

For example, Pizza Hut launched an entire nostalgia campaign called “Newstalgia.” It’s all about bringing back the old while balancing it with the new. Consumers can use their smartphones to relive their childhood experiences of visiting these restaurants and playing arcade games. When you view Newstalgia pizza boxes through your phone’s screen, you can play an augmented reality Pac-Man game.

 

While nostalgia typically has been sought-after for its historical accuracy, consumers are now willing to overlook that accuracy in favor of novelty and playfulness. 2022 promises to keep the trend of playful, new nostalgia going strong.

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