While this summer’s backyard barbecues and campfires have not been the large social gatherings they’ve been in the past, kids and adults alike are still enjoying the classic tradition of enjoying s’mores. With National S’mores Day taking place on August 10, and the last few weeks of an unusual summer still to come, food and beverage brands can tap into consumer desire for nostalgic flavors and comfort food.

From putting s’mores kits on menus so sidewalk diners can turn their tabletops into quasi-campfires, to launching s’mores-flavored treats like brownies, cupcakes and coffee drinks, food and beverage brands can get creative with this scrumptious flavor that combines marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker.

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Feeding Demand for Nostalgia
Due to COVID-19, consumers have flocked to nostalgic flavors that they can take comfort in during these trying times. S’mores can elicit fond memories of childhood, and the delicious combination of flavors can put a smile on pretty much anyone’s face. And with more consumers stocking up their pantries, the center aisles of grocery stores are making a comeback, which is where you can typically find s’mores ingredients.

These trends also create openings for s’mores-flavored packaged goods. Consumers can add a few indulgences to their grocery lists that makes them feel young and carefree again. With more families spending time at home together, s’mores-flavored products, or s’mores kits sold in stores, can be great items for consumers to bond over.

Symrise flavor research even finds that Gen Z consumers, 20-23 years old, are craving s’mores. So nostalgia for childhood snacks doesn’t have to stretch back very far to still make an impact.

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Getting Creative With S’mores
With the demand for classic flavors like s’mores, restaurants, food bloggers, chefs and others are jumping onto this delicious bandwagon in creative ways.

Take Dalgona coffee, for example. This beverage has skyrocketed in popularity in 2020, as it’s a relatively easy drink to make at home, and it’s a very visual creation that looks great on social media. But consumers can also get creative by creating a similar type of s’mores beverage, using cocoa instead of coffee and adding marshmallow. Food blogger Valentina Mussi shares a scrumptious recipe for what she calls whipped s’mores milk on her Instagram channel, @sweetportfolio.

S’mores flavors can also be incorporated into other desserts like tarts, as Matthew Rosenzweig,
co-owner and head pastry chef of The Flaky Tart in New Jersey, showcases on his Instagram, @pastrychefmatthew. S’mores can even be part of the growing category of vegan food, assuming marshmallows without gelatin are used (along with other vegan ingredients). Food blogger Purely Kaylie shares a delicious vegan s’mores bar recipe on her Instagram, @purelykaylie.

What’s Next for S’mores?
While s’mores might bring about feelings of nostalgia, food and beverage brands don’t have to stick with just the three main ingredients of marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker. In addition to incorporating s’mores flavor into other creations, there are endless opportunities to create new variations.

For example, at the Four Seasons hotel in Washington, D.C., the restaurant Bourbon Steak serves a smoked s’mores dish, which is an elegant, deconstructed version of the classic dish. Instead of a regular marshmallow, for instance, the dish includes marshmallow ice cream in the shape of an actual marshmallow.

Food and beverage brands are also starting to incorporate innovative flavors like cream cheese, speculoos or bourbon into s’mores creations, as data from Technomic indicates.

Since s’mores might not be consumed this year as they classically were during summer get-togethers in the past, 2020 could be the year to try out new twists while still feeding the desire for nostalgic flavors.

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Images courtesy of Instagram (@pastrychefmatthew and @sewolf08).

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