Milkshake trio

Use Natural Flavors to Reimagine Nostalgic Favorites for Today’s Consumer

Everyone has their “go-to” snack, beverage, or meal when they want something that’s comfortable and familiar. These favorites invoke a sense of nostalgia, which is something consumers have been demanding as the COVID-19 pandemic has stretched on.

However, consumers are also relentlessly focused on clean labels, organic ingredients, lower sugar, and an otherwise “better for you” experience. This has led to both a resurgence of classic flavors and a rise in new formulations, according to a recent article in Beverage Industry.

As the article points out, classic flavors — vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry — are front and center. These and many others are finding their way into many new formulations, according to Sydney Riethman, marketing specialist for Sensient Flavors & Extracts.

“In a world that seems to be continuously full of uncertainty and complexity, with this being heightened more than ever during the pandemic, consumers like to connect with things that remind them of ‘the good old days’ or simpler times, and one of the most intimate ways to do this is through the senses of taste and smell,” Riethman said. “Classic flavors like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry reconnect consumers with childhood memories and therefore bring a sense of comfort and nostalgia. We also see these flavors resurging and resonating in ways that consumers have never seen before by bringing in more unfamiliar twists to keep it nostalgic and classic, yet adventurous and exciting.”

There are a lot of options for manufacturers to play with. In addition to the aforementioned chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, other favorites include peanut butter (with or without jelly), banana, orange cream, among others. This creates an opportunity for food and beverage manufacturers who can create playful new versions and connect, or reconnect, with a wide base of consumers.

“By utilizing these flavors in beverages that may not be expected, consumers feel comfort knowing they will like it, but also become intrigued when these classic flavors are mixed with newer, exotic, exciting flavors,” Riethman said. “These flavors also provide a sturdy yet versatile base for food and beverage to be built upon. Similar to the three primary colors, when these staple flavors are mixed, matched, and enhanced, these products go from basic to trendy and nostalgic.”

Ready to bring the classics to life in a new, inventive way? Get more insights from the article here, and then let’s talk about how your product line can make everything old new again.