While we’ve previously seen OffLimits tuning into the nostalgia of cereal eating with more intriguing flavours, products that are traditionally considered ‘junk food’ are also getting the nostalgia treatment. NUGGS, the self-styled ‘Tesla of chicken’, makes direct-to-consumer nuggets with no chicken. Instead, its use of soy protein technology results in a healthier nugget to suit modern eating habits – but that same desire for something comforting.
LA-based Chubby Organics has reimagined the classic American peanut butter and jelly sandwich with organic ingredients and superfood claims. Meanwhile, Dream Pops has created plant-based, nutrient dense, low calorie and of course photogenic ice lollies, made in partnership with a three-star Michelin chef. This is nostalgia for the Instagram generation.
It’s not just ingredients that are being shaken up – it’s also the path to purchase. Many of these new brands allow you to buy straight from their website, turning acquisition into something a little more memorable. Both NUGGS and Chubby Organics encourage customers to subscribe to recurring monthly deliveries. It might sound crazy to have a subscription to chicken nuggets, but according to recent data from McKinsey, 75% consumers have tried a new shopping behaviour since the start of the pandemic. From different shopping methods to new brands, food shoppers are shaking up old loyalties in response to economic pressures, store closures and changing priorities.
As we move through unpredictable times, one thing we can guarantee is our collective craving for escapism and comfort. For as long as the world still feels tumultuous, consumers will long for familiarity and a delicious distraction. Looking ahead to 2021, there are vast opportunities for food brands to inspire and reconnect with grown up audiences by reimagining our childhood classics. The taste of nostalgia is just too irresistible.
Victoria Gates-Fleming is senior director of digital strategy at Day One Agency, a creative communications agency with the ambition of stopping the world in its scroll with stories that earn a place in culture.
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