caramel-covered apples dipped in nuts

Did you know 63% of consumers agree that they like the same type of chocolate now that they did as a kid?* Nostalgia is playing a big role in customer preferences.

Nostalgia helps us cope with stress and unexpected situations, so it’s no wonder customers are turning to familiar favorites. The popularity of flavors from childhood seems to be skyrocketing, and this is a trend that’s been seen for years. Sentimental favorites like birthday cake, cotton candy, caramel, peanut butter, and apple pie continue to be favorites among customers of all ages. From older shoppers looking for the treasured candies of their past to young parents seeking to introduce children to their own childhood favorites, the desire for the comforts of the past resonates with all generations. Even Gen Z customers navigating the transition to adulthood are seeking out their favorites from a time when their lives weren’t fraught with grown-up concerns.

Caramel Peanut Molded Bars by Russ Thayer

Caramel Peanut Molded Bars by Russ Thayer

Give Retro Favorites an Upgrade

There’s nothing wrong with re-creating customers’ treasured confections bite for bite, but don’t be afraid to give tried-and-true treats a makeover. Grown-up versions of kids’ favorites featuring alcohol are unsurprisingly popular among customers old enough to imbibe. Something as simple as a bourbon-spiked caramel can spark both intrigue and childhood memories. An easy upgrade for retro-confections is to use premium ingredients: high-quality couverture, organic fruit, high-quality nuts, and praliné pastes.

Consider swapping almond or hazelnut for peanuts or adding a spicy or salty twist to balance flavors that have historically been only sweet. Adding a “pop” of texture can lend an element of surprise to an item that may seem “tired.” Taking a dairy-free, low-sugar, or plant-based approach can delight customers by making the favorites they’ve been craving part of their lives again.

Food can be a source of comfort in stressful times and a way to connect with our loved ones and our pasts. So make sure your selection includes some classic favorites.

 

 

*Global Data report (Q4 2019)

a woman smiles while holding a sprinkle-covered lollipop

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