Brand values must be right to fit the nostalgia megatrend

Marie Ridgley

In difficult times, people hark back to what they trust. It's an emotional response that some companies have sought to capitalise on with the relaunch of food and drink brands from their archive. But how far can nostalgia marketing go?

Cadbury's started the vogue for nostalgia-that-makes-you-feel-better marketing by reintroducing the Wispa bar. Consumers embraced the brand's return so enthusiastically that in December 2008, it was shifting a million bars a week.

Others have since followed in the food and drink category, including ice cream, coffee, custard and burger brands.

In fact, it seems that no category is immune to marketers raiding their back catalogues for formats that can be resurrected. Marketers who have sat on the sidelines while other brands have ridden the nostalgia wave are becoming alarmed.