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Research: Brands responding to consumer nostalgia with retro-inspired products
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

20 March 2024

Research: Brands responding to consumer nostalgia with retro-inspired products

New research from data analytics firm GlobalData suggests that brands are launching retro-inspired products and packaging in response to increasing consumer nostalgia. According to GlobalData, the wake of rapid social and economic changes post-Covid-19 has led to an increased nostalgia for the past in American consumers, prompting brands to reintroduce products and packaging that evoke a sense of familiarity. Meenakshi Haran, lead consumer analyst at GlobalData, noted that nostalgia often triggers sensory experiences for consumers, evoking sentimental feelings about a past period or place they've encountered. Haran said: "They seek familiar flavours, fragrances or products that take them back to that time or place. Americans, in particular, are feeling nostalgic about the 'good times' and looking for familiarity in the food and drinks products they choose, as affirmed by 67% of respondents in GlobalData's consumer survey." She explained that brands are tapping into this by reintroducing old-style flavours and products, adding: "Olipop, for instance, claims to be a new kind of soda in retro cans, reminiscent of nostalgic packaging designs, while Spindrift, a sparkling water brand, introduced two new variants inspired by the 1990s when purple grape-flavoured products were popular. Similarly, Oreo debuted its new limited-edition “dirt cake” flavor that claims to be a spin on the classic childhood-favorite, mud-pie dessert." With the abundance of new product launches competing for consumer attention, Haran advised that companies should focus on distinguishing their offerings and making them stand out on store shelves. While the demand for retro products remains strong among American consumers, brands should strike a balance between nostalgia and meeting sensory expectations for visual and taste experiences to foster repeat purchases and drive sales.

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