Nostalgia Reigns as Confectionery’s Comeback Queen

Nostalgia Reigns as Confectionery’s Comeback Queen

Curious and sentimental chocolate lovers are rediscovering the classics, and confectionery is ready-as-ever to deliver that dose of joy. Discover two ways consumers experience nostalgia and what they are looking for from their chocolate.

Even before the pandemic, 85% of Americans agreed that managing their emotional wellbeing is important to them. In the wake of the coronavirus, consumers are concerned for their mental wellbeing, not just their physical wellbeing.

This is where confectionery steps in. An age-old bringer of smiles, consumers are seeking their favourite confections that remind them of carefree times, and connect them to the people and places they love. 34% of US chocolate eaters say that eating chocolate improves their emotional wellbeing. Once again, as consumers navigate tough times, confectionery has a role to play as an affordable luxury to share, give, and enjoy.

From old classics to new retro: Two ways consumers experience nostalgia


There are consumers who feel sentimental when they look back and remember a particular time in their lives, or a special place that they have experienced before. In fact, 71% of Americans enjoy things that remind them of their past. These fond memories of the past can evoke strong positive emotions, so we actively seek out experiences that recreate those feelings. 

"I want to relive the past"

Confectionery is particularly powerful at connecting consumers to happy childhood memories. A simple treat can transport us back to more innocent times, such as a family vacation or holiday occasion. Familiar aromas, distinctive flavours, and the anticipation and excitement of unwrapping and tasting our favourite treat all help to relive that experience. We know that 63% of chocolate eaters agree that they like the same type of chocolate now that they did when they were kids.

Sentimentality is most common in older generations, as the tendency to look back at the past with rose-tinted glasses grows over time. Whilst the ageing population is fueling this trend, all consumer groups can experience this phenomenon. For example, as Gen Z consumers are making the difficult transition from teen to adult, they often return to candy that reminds them of being a kid, to escape from the pressures of growing up.


There are consumers who crave experiences rooted in curiosity for a period or place that they did not experience the first time round. 45% of North American consumers agree that products from the past are better than the ones available now.* These consumers are willing to experiment and view "old" products as something "new" and exciting to try. This is where heritage brands can recruit new consumers in addition to their loyalists, as 39% NA consumers agree that the older the brand, the better the quality.**

"I want to experiment with products from before my time"

When it comes to Confectionery, time-honoured favourites are standing the test of time, and ranges are extending to create new twists on their heritage counterparts. We’re seeing a dash of salt, bourbon, or higher cacao chocolate being paired with sweet centers, and assortment classics being re-packaged in more contemporary sharing bag formats. 39% of North American consumers prefer traditional flavours in chocolate confections, so now is the time to take the opportunity to celebrate and expand these gems in your range.












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