A Taste of Nostalgia

Butterscotch pudding, Flickr daveleb

Butterscotch pudding, Flickr daveleb

I participated in a Trend Spotter Webcast yesterday conducted by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, the group behind the Fancy Food Show. You can learn more by visiting NASFT’s blog Under the Lid.  Or you can watch a video of the Webcast below…


Watch live streaming video from nasft at livestream.com


Kara Nielsen, a trendologist with the Center for Culinary Development, reviewed several food and flavor trends.  She started off with the trend of nostalgic or retro foods — a trend I’ve written about before (Retro Marketing and Flashback Branding).

I liked her decriptions of “brown flavors” that are hot now because of their links to our past.  These are comforting, nostalgic flavors that remind us of our youth — when we felt safe and secure.  They remind me of the flavors that help replicate what Baum & Whiteman call the “campfire experience.”  

So what are these brown flavors?  Think butterscotch, caramel, toffee, brittle, praline, maple syrup, honey and honey comb.  I feel better already.

Kara also talked about other retro flavors that are increasing in popularity:  malt, liquorice, nougant and dairy flavors (including yogurt, buttermilk, Greek yogurt and plain old milk for its purity and wholesomeness).  Rhubarb was another nostalgic flavor discussed.

A few other trends featured in the Webcast included alternative sweeteners, gluten-free foods, superfoods and floral flavors, such as hibiscus, rose water and lavendar.

But I’m liking the retro “brown flavors” best.

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