Nostalgic Foods Trend in 2020

Consumers are seeking out foods and flavors that bring back fond childhood memories, according to Kroger’s Top Five Trends for 2020.

New foods are being added to grocery store shelves that deliver nostalgic flavors in a reimagined way, making them appealing to both older and younger consumers. Some of Kroger’s own products in this category include Kroger Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream, Black Cherry Root Beer Float Ice Cream, Edible Cookie Dough, and Mini Alphabet Cookies.

One recent example of this trend is the Gushers brand launching a new mystery flavor, reported Delish (Jan. 14). The package of Galactic Gushers features flavors like green “asteroid apple” and blue “berry star cluster,” along with a purple “unidentified flavored object.”

Additionally, 90s favorite Totino’s Pizza Rolls released a ham and cheese flavor earlier this month, while Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts got an ice cream makeover in partnership with Good Humor, reported Delish (Jan. 16, Jan. 23).

Entrepreneurs who are reinventing nostalgic sweet snacks with a healthy and clean twist are also attracting private capital, reported Forbes (Dec. 19, 2019). For example, Colorado-based Sunrise Strategic Partners’ previous investments include companies such as Little Secrets, which has a product similar to KitKat made with fair-trade chocolate, and Coolhaus that rivals larger ice cream brands, Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s, with organic and handmade frozen products.

“The chocolate category hasn’t really had a facelift, redefining the formats we grew up eating,” said Little Secrets CEO Chris Mears. “Our overarching strategy has been how we take a classic format and put a better twist on it.”

The company is also launching a chocolate cookie bar that resembles the classic Twix bar, available in dark and milk chocolate varieties.

Sunrise isn’t the only investment firm betting on this space. Boulder Food Group recently led a $2.5 million Series B funding in Good Day Chocolate, while NY-based Alliance Consumer Growth led a minority round in snacking marshmallow brand SmashMallow.

Meanwhile, other trends Kroger expects to dominate in 2020 include food as medicine, flexitarian foods, global flavors, and sustainable foods.