header for blogpost, explain the nostalgia tredn

Why reimagined comfort foods with a modern twist are a winning combo

If you want to win in our industry, you need to beat the odds. Thankfully, we have the data to make that possible.

What consumers want and need

Last month we talked about indulgence, this month we’re highlighting nostalgia as a major consumer need in food and drink.

Just like the desire for indulgent treats, nostalgia is an emotion we see most of in times of unrest and insecurity. The three main drivers for these feelings are:

  • climate change
  • global conflicts
  • inflation

But nostalgia is not just a fleeting moment of reminiscence – it’s a significant movement driven by Gen Xers and Millennials.

As these generations start families, there’s a desire to share the tastes of their youth with their own kids, sparking a renaissance of once-forgotten flavours.

The Hi-C’s Ecto Cooler

The comeback of Hi-C’s Ecto Cooler is a prime example of nostalgia’s power. Originally launched in 1987 in partnership with the Ghostbusters franchise, Ecto Cooler became a childhood staple throughout the late ’80s and early ’90s.

But as the Ghostbusters fever waned, so did Ecto Cooler’s presence on store shelves—until 2021.

Coinciding with the release of a new Ghostbusters film, a surge of nostalgia-driven demand among Millennials led to the drink’s return. This revival not only allowed parents to relive their youth but also introduced a new generation to a taste blast from the past.

This trend keeps on giving

From Dunkaroos to classic kiddie cereals, Taco Bell treats, and long-forgotten chip flavours, the market is witnessing a massive renaissance of retro products.

These comebacks are largely fuelled by social media, where nostalgic parents share their yearnings for childhood favorites and mobilize campaigns for their return. Brands keen to leverage this movement are rediscovering the potential of ’80s sweets and ’90s pizza-inspired products, finding that these flavors can captivate both those who remember them fondly and newcomers alike.

How to profit from this

  • Re-imagine food from 50-30 years ago – be sure to maintain the flavor and consumption experience that made the products a success originally.
  • Work with us to identify the most appealing flavors to score a nostalgic home run.
  • Consider updating the ingredients to make them relevant to today’s consumer sensitivities. Low/no sugar, more natural ingredients.