Retro Love: Nostalgic food trends

Retro themed food and drinks

Well-loved old time classics and re-vamped childhood favourites are becoming a real hit with consumers. Sweet treats, cocktails, milkshakes and meals that provide a sense of nostalgia have a wide appeal. And given that consumers are going through turbulent times and facing change, demand for nostalgic and comforting food and drink is something we expect to see grow.

UK consumers demand retro desserts and milkshakes

Retailers have reported an increase in consumer demand for retro food and desserts, and we’re also seeing excitement about these in the eating out market. Bakeries and dessert shops are creating cakes around old confectionery, milkshakes and cocktails featuring childhood favourite flavours or sweets, and restaurants serving good old hearty grub that takes you right back to your school days.

Chefs can get really creative when tapping into nostalgia, and give well-loved classics an elevation so that they resonate with the modern consumer, but also bring up those familiar memories. Plus, a fun retro cocktail or dessert is often very instagrammable!

According to our surveys…

Retro drinks

57% find the idea of nostalgic or retro themed drinks appealing*

Retro foods

57% find the idea of nostalgic or retro themed food appealing*

Retro venues

53% find the idea of nostalgic or retro themed venues appealing*

Check out our retro inspired recipe below…


*Bidfood and CGA 2023 Trends consumer survey, sample size 2,003 (UK adults)

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