Nostalgia - ain't what it used to be
Last Wednesday I had my mind cast back to childhood and my favourite foods. I wasnâ€™t just day dreaming at work, I was in London for a Nostalgia food trends conference. Think arctic roll, wispa bars or liquorice sherbet. For me it was more like peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and snickerdoodle biscuits though !
The main topic of discussion last week was how the comfort food trend is growing and retro products are relaunching. Some of the speakers explored the reasons behind the emergence of this trend. There would have been just under 100 people who attended. A mixture of other retailers and suppliers from the food industry.
Personally I think the recession has certainly induced the growth of retro foods. Iâ€™m not promoting the recession !! but it certainly seems people crave the comfort and familiarity of family and perhaps childhood in tough times. Retro products have an association with casting your mind back to happy times.
Times still change though and the growth of online & social media has helped hugely with people having such a direct influence over products on shelves. Facebook groups have even been set up to bring back products that no longer exist.
I am still unsure of how well this works, or what the motivation is here. Are people joining these groups because they actually want to buy these products if put back on shelves? or are they jumping on the bandwagon purely because now they have the power to have their say? I think there is probably a good reason why some products are not on sale any moreâ€¦.
Itâ€™s not just about bringing back old products that have disappeared either, new â€“ or should I say old â€“ packaging has re-surfaced on products to create the â€˜old fashionedâ€™ feel. Even new brands and products are adopting the â€˜home madeâ€™ look to create that warmth.
Agree or disagree, it is important for me go to trend briefings, keep up to date with market changes and then brief the food teams here. This information is quite valuable & influential for future development, and if itâ€™s what people want, then who I am to disagree !