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Nostalgic, Retro Flavours Making A Strong Comeback

Here, we bring together the good old flavours from various food segments that are seeing a bold comeback.

It’s a no-brainer that people resort to comfort foods in times of stress. With stress and anxiety levels increasing during the pandemic, foods have been providing the much-needed respite for consumers across the globe. The rising awareness of mental and emotional wellbeing beyond physical health have further accentuated the need for indulgence. Be it a dark chocolate ice cream that will make you feel good or a herbal tea that will lull you to sleep, familiar comfort foods and flavours create a much-needed connection with consumers.

Classic flavours assume the meaning of a soothing constant by positively influencing the mood, increasing motivation and energy levels. Thus, as people started cooking more at home during the lockdowns, tried-and-tested familiar recipes were most popular. Parallel to this, the F&B segment also saw a rise in demand for sweet and warm-toned, childhood-reminiscent nostalgic flavours. According to Mintel, 71% of consumers enjoy things that remind them of their childhood. 

Here, we bring together the good old flavours from various food segments that are seeing a bold comeback.

  1. Bakery & Confectionery- Flavours that communicate fun, holiday and happy memories like birthday cake, s’mores, cotton candy, gum, marshmallows etc. help in recreating childhood memories and emotional experiences they currently cannot indulge in.
  2. Savoury flavours- Even while snack flavours are trending towards bolder notes, familiar nostalgic flavours like butter, garlic, BBQ, salted egg, chilli pepper and cheddar are equally popular.
  3. Beverage flavours- Thriving on nostalgic and indulgence factors, citrus flavours are making a revisit. Elderberry, kiwi, cardamom, cantaloupe, kimchi, miso, tahini etc. are also making more appearances.
  4. Indulgent flavours- Specific flavours like salted caramel, cheesecake, butterscotch, toffee and tiramisu will continue to be on trend.
  5. Regional flavours- Payasam/kheer,falooda,badam&elaichi in bakery flavours, homegrown soda flavours likeaam panna, jaljeera, Rooh Afzain homegrown soda flavours, tamarind & tender coconut in native beverages etc are flavours which give consumers a chance to re-explore their familiar favourites.

Makeover of Classic Flavours

Even as consumers retreat to comfort foods for battling pandemic stress, they expect a mashup of familiar tastes for unique experiences. For instance, red velvet, a popular cake flavour is now available in bakery applications like cookies and muffins. Sweet and tart flavours like melon and berry are brought together to make a child-inspired fantasy flavour,‘unicorn’. Brands are experiencing a renaissance of some of these nostalgic flavours in more sophisticated and unexpected forms like bubble gum seltzer, peanut butter hard coffee and grape cotton candy craft soda. 

Aromas and tastes from the past only get dearerwith time. Thus, nostalgic flavours which saw a pandemic resurgence will onlytrend stronger in the long run. Blended flavours that are inspired by culture and paired with ethnic and bold flavours will continue to see intriguing opportunities.Brands must consider revamping their current portfolios to launch fondly familiar flavours that can be presented in unique, surprising formats.


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Flavours Retro Flavours

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