Resurrecting Tastes of the Past Nostalgia and the Flavor Market

June 13, 2023

Never underestimate the power of nostalgia, a common saying, but one that has really taken on new life in the flavor industry. With the aging of Gen X and the Millenials, nostalgia has become a booming opportunity for tastemakers. As they raise children of their own, a powerful desire to experience and share tastes from their own past has led to the comeback of many flavors over the past few years.

When it comes to resurrecting “dead” flavors, perhaps no campaign embodies it better than Hi-C’s Ecto Cooler rerelease. Ecto Cooler was a flavor that tied into the Ghostbusters film franchise and was released in 1987. It had a good run into the early 90’s and was a popular selection for kids during those years. Sadly, as all things must, the excitement surrounding Ghostbusters faded away as the 90’s rolled on and Ecto Cooler went to the grave as sales flagged. 

Fast forward to 2021 and the release of a new Ghostbusters film which led to renewed desire for Ecto Cooler from the now adult Millennials. Reminders of their childhood and the popular staple, caused the masses to campaign for a re-release and suddenly Ecto Cooler was “raised from the dead”. This way parents could not only share their love for a film franchise, but also their love for a tasty drink with their very own children. It was a popular release that started online and even saw the flavor return to stores for a time. Nostalgia has always had a role in certain Americana flavors, but Hi-C and Ghostbusters proved that there was a larger market than ever anticipated for flavors of the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

"Now we are seeing a resurgence of formerly discarded products and flavors. Dunkaroos cookie dippers are making a comeback, kiddie cereals, taco bell treats, and long forgotten chip flavors are now making their way back to eager mouths."

Largely, thanks to Social media, nostalgic parents have found an outlet to rediscover their childhood favorites and then campaign for their revival. To jump on the phenomenon, look no further than those sweet kid’s flavors of the 80s or Pizza craze of the 90s. Bringing back those tastes of childhood will delight the older generation while making new fans of the youngest. 

In today’s market, no product really dies or is lost forever, instead they wait to be resurrected and given a second act to titillate tongues and satisfy nostalgic hearts everywhere!