Retro offerings are trending and winning with consumers of all ages as Boomers wax nostalgic and Millennials value authenticity. Gen Zers are exploring experiences that are new to them – and which they may have heard of from their parents or grandparents. Forbes recently reported that “nostalgia can help cement a consumer’s trust in a brand. They want to feel connected to brands on an emotional level.”
At the same time, consumers continue to seek better nutritional profiles and functional benefits in the foods and beverages they consume and that contributes to their holistic health. Startups are meeting these needs by making food offerings of yesteryear that trigger fond memories for consumers but with healthier ingredients. When taste and texture evoke happy memories and, in tandem, deliver nutrition, consumers can feel good about enjoying foods to which they may have an emotional connection.
Examples of recent startup launches include the following:
Opportunity for BigCos
Startup brands are substituting alternative sweeteners such as monk fruit for sugar and replacing carbs with peas and other plants that provide nutritional value and protein. Some of these new entrants are available online only and have steep price tags; the number of launches of nostalgic and better-for-you foods indicates a trend. If enough consumers purchase, these startups may realize economies of scale that reduce their prices.
More to come at Expo West
And we can expect additional nostalgic entrants (across both food and beauty) to emerge at Natural Products Expo West in early March (we’ll be there reporting!) and which will deliver functional benefits and heightened nutritional value and give consumers both reason and permission to indulge. How might your brand draw from its past to tell your story and connect to consumer emotions?