The nostalgia effect

The nostalgia effect
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The pull of nostalgia in driving consumer purchasing behaviour

Nostalgia is a powerful thing. According to research published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing, when a shopper feels nostalgic, they may be more likely to spend money.

It’s common for consumers to turn to the familiar, especially during times of uncertainty and loneliness, but also in moments of celebration and happiness. Familiar products evoke positive memories, fostering comfort, emotional safety and a feeling of connection.

In the age of the healthy consumer making conscious purchasing decisions, the pull of nostalgia is also undergoing a similar shift. While for some consumers only the original will do, there is an ever-growing market of shoppers looking for a healthy twist on their old favourites. Discover the brands and products they’re turning to.

Loving Earth, LoveRaw, Dandies, Naturally GoodLoving Earth, LoveRaw, Dandies, Naturally Good
Loving Earth, LoveRaw, Dandies, Naturally Good

Conscious twists on nostalgic favourites

For some consumers, conscious choices are about avoiding certain ingredients for allergies. For others, the choice is an ethical one. Whatever the case, this choice also often means giving up nostalgic favourites.

There are an increasing number of products available in the free-from category that are modern twists on nostalgic favourites. They have many of the features consumers love with ingredients they can feel good about. Products like:

  • The Loving Earth Strawberry Drinking Chocolate, a blend of white chocolate and coconut mylk, coloured with organic beetroot powder.
  • The LoveRaw M:lk Choc Peanut Caramel Bar with soft nougat, chewy caramel and roasted peanuts wrapped in a plant-based creamy m:lk chocolate coating.
  • The Naturally Good 50% less sugar Mylk Zillions made with mylk chocolate buttons and sprinkles coloured with natural ingredients
  • The Dandies Vegan Vanilla Marshmallows, made with no artificial flavours, colours, corn syrup, gelatin or gluten.
Macro Mike, Eclipse OrganicsMacro Mike, Eclipse Organics
Macro Mike, Eclipse Organics

The appeal of nostalgic flavours

Beyond free-from alternatives, flavours can also have a nostalgic pull. Certain flavours—or even scents—can invoke memories and emotions.

Brands are using nostalgic flavours in innovative ways in a range of products to appeal to consumers.

Macro Mike uses nostalgic flavours across the top-selling protein range. In the Premium Almond Protein range, flavours include Banana Cream Pie, Choc Honeycomb and Vanilla Buttercream. The Peanut Plant Protein range includes Cookie Dough and Caramel Cinnamon Bun.

The Eclipse Organics range of Raw Paleo Bars offers nostalgic flavours such as Berry Ripe, Choc Mint Slice, and Coconut Rough.

Buderim Ginger, J.Leuhders, BraggBuderim Ginger, J.Leuhders, Bragg
Buderim Ginger, J.Leuhders, Bragg

Nostalgic brands

For some consumers, the pull of nostalgia can also be related to brands that have been in the market for generations. They know the products, trust the brand and have feelings of nostalgia when they use them.

Bragg was established in 1912 and has been used by generations of wellness devotees who continue to turn to the trusted products. Today, one Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar is sold every 2 minutes and 24 seconds in major grocery.*

J.Luehders has been family owned since 1909 and offers Soft Vegan Candy made with real fruit juice and no gelatine or animal products. The history of the brand combined with the free-from alternative offering taps into consumer nostalgia.

Buderim Ginger was founded in 1941 and is synonymous with ginger in Australia and around the globe. The range has expanded over the years, with consumers reaching for nostalgic favourites along with new additions due to their trust in the brand.

Connect with consumers 

Order online or via our sales team at 1800 787 904. Alternatively, register for a wholesale account here.

Never underestimate the power of nostalgia.

According to research published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing, when a shopper is feeling nostalgic, that sentimental longing can do more than make a person feel warm inside. It regularly leads to purchases, too.

It's common for many of us, in times of uncertainty, loneliness, and happy and joyful moments, to turn to the familiar. We seek comfort, emotional safety and connection in products that evoke positive memories from the past.

Today's consumers are no different.

While some consumers would return directly to the original product, there is an ever-growing market of health-conscious shoppers looking for a healthy twist on their old favourites.

A report from FONA International reveals playing on consumers' memories, and emotional connections to nostalgic flavours and products can spell success for food manufacturers.

The report states that “although food and beverage nostalgia differs from person to person, there's science behind our strong emotional ties to food, and it's a common theme that food and beverage developers can leverage to innovate and expand their brand.”

Indulgent nostalgia evokes those warm and fuzzy feelings most often through high-calorie, high-sugar comfort foods. Meanwhile, next-gen indulgence takes a healthier, more “adult” spin on those comforting, retro flavours and products. “Whether relaunching a retro product, revamping an old one or simply drawing inspiration from the past, we can see that nostalgia sells,” FONA wrote.

Healthy foods with a nostalgic twist

“While most nostalgic products lean toward indulgence, next-gen nostalgia might lie in offering products that remind consumers of their childhood with a more health-focused mindset. The key is understanding the consumer, their experiences and the feelings that evoked that drive for them to purchase.”

No matter which way product manufacturers go, anything that makes consumers feel happy and comforted is sure to please. Think healthy versions of comfort foods, nostalgic food pairings and gourmet ready meals with a natural spin.

Cup soups, hearty porridge, decadent chocolate cake and a familiar breakfast spread are just some nostalgic favourites that can take memories and convert them into sales.

Nostalgic flavours and innovative creations, Unique Health Products is home to many of the world's biggest health and wellness brands. With more than 3,900 products in our warehouse, you can rest assured if it's trending, a top seller, or a product simply worth stocking on your shelves — we'll have it!

Ready to place an order? You can shop online with us 24/7 here, or call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you don't have a wholesale account with us yet, you can register for one here.

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