I grew up during the 1990's, and I don't think it's bragging to say that the '90s had the best snacks. However, there is good news out there for all '90s babies out there: lately, companies have been banking on nostalgia, and have brought back snacks from the 1990's and 2000's.
Most recently, Good Humor brought back its Viennetta ice cream cake. For the life of me, I don't think I've ever had one of these, but it was known as the "fancy" dessert of the '90's; I use quotation marks because it wasn't actually fancy, but their branding appealed to middle-class Americans (like their commercials). When SF&WB posted about its comeback recently, I posted it to my Facebook page, and got similar reactions from my (mostly 30- and 40-year-old friends)—people were either excited that it was back, since it was a staple of their childhood, or excited to try it for the first time.
The same went for General Mills' Dunkaroos, which were re-released to C-stores in May of last year—Dunkaroos were definitely a staple in my school lunch boxes, so I was excited that they were being re-released.
Last month, Doritos re-released their 3D Crunch chips, too, to great fanfare. "After over 20 years of clamoring on social media, popular petitions, speculating rumors, and celebrity endorsements, Doritos is ushering back the same great product and iconic three-dimensional shape, but with even more bold and spicy flavors: Chili Cheese Nacho and Spicy Ranch," the company said.
"Consumer brands such as Kraft Heinz experienced net sale growth of 3.3 percent during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, as nostalgia inspired millennials and younger consumers to look to familiar brands for support and direction during these critical times," said the Global Licensing Group, which revealed these trends during their recent Licensing Virtual Week.
It's unsurprising that both millennials and the younger generations are flocking to these products: in the midst of unfamiliar scenarios like a pandemic, we want something that's familiar, taste-wise. Products like Dunkaroos, Doritos 3D Crunch chips, and Viennetta fill this void, and snack companies are counting on the sweet taste of nostalgia to fuel their sales.