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Food nostalgia: More snack companies embrace old concepts in new products

Biz Product Shortages
Posted at 12:34 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 15:34:46-04

America's appetite for nostalgia is growing.

One example is in the snack aisle.

As people's snacking habits increased during the pandemic, many turned to old favorites instead of trying new products.

Companies are trying to capitalize by bringing back products from the recent past, like Dunkaroos and 3D Doritos, to appeal to millennials.

"It's what we like to call new-stalgia," said Carly Schildhaus, a senior public affairs manager for the National Confectioners Association. "Your favorite classic products, reimagined in different ways."

According to an NCA report released in May, the new-stalgic snacks are among the biggest snack trends of 2022.

The same report said s'mores would be a top flavor this year.

"People look to chocolate candy snacks for a little bit of joy or a little bit of sweetness in a challenging time," Schildhaus said. "People who grew up enjoying a traditional s'more might enjoy a different kind of nostalgic flavor in a different and new way."

Other trends include an increase in flavor intensity.

New candies and chips are marketed based on their level of heat or sour flavor.

Companies are also committed to offering a diverse array of options to cater to various consumer tastes.

"You might like something a little more classic. We have that for you," Schildhaus said. "But if you're looking to get a bit more experimental, we certainly have you covered there as well."

It remains to be seen if inflation will cause people to pull back on snack spending.

Grocery store spending remained steady during the 2008-11 recession, while restaurant spending fell about 18%.