Food Brands HelloFresh and Truff Tap Nostalgia to Drive Sales

Food Brands Tap Nostalgia to Drive Sales

Brand collaborations such as HelloFresh and Marvel or Truff and Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. can be perceived as trendy marketing tactics, an innovative way to reach new customers.

While on the surface these collaborations simply seem cool, they’re much more strategic than meets the eye.

The latest collaborations causing a stir are food partnerships that provide consumers with a dose of nostalgia. In this case, nostalgia is something Generation Z craves, making Truff’s tie-up with Super Mario Bros. and HelloFresh’s relationship with Marvel the perfect opportunities to hit Gen Z with exactly what they want.

Why Nostalgia?

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion that can transport individuals back to a time or place that was significant to them. For Gen Z, this can mean a desire to experience the pop culture and trends of previous decades, even if they didn’t necessarily live through them themselves. Although all generations experience nostalgia to some extent, Gen Z is reportedly the most nostalgic generation, with 15% expressing a preference for thinking about the past rather than the future. Millennials, however, aren’t far behind at 14%, and this preference continues to decrease with age.

Additionally, it was found that nostalgia in media is being driven by Gen Z and millennials, with Gen Z leading the trend by 50%, followed by 47% of millennials.

Ways of Tapping Into Nostalgia

To get that dose of nostalgia, Gen Z is going back to simpler times, ditching sensory overload by adopting flip phones and digital cameras. Not only does old tech allow them to cut down on overstimulation, but it also lets them express their individuality.

“I think you can see it with certain Gen Z populations — they’re tired of the screens,” said Jose Briones, “dumb phone” influencer and moderator of the subreddit “r/dumbphones.” “They don’t know what is going on with mental health, and they’re trying to make cutbacks.”

However, it is worth noting that the trend toward dumb phones is not a complete rejection of technology. Rather, it reflects an acknowledgment that the constant influx of notifications, social media updates, and other digital stimuli can be detrimental and overwhelming. Switching to a dumb phone allows Gen Zers to take a break from the incessant digital information and concentrate on what truly holds significance to them.

See also: Gen Z Gives Up Smartphones for Dumb Ones

HelloFresh x Marvel

HelloFresh has teamed up with Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” to promote the new movie, which is expected to hit theaters May 5, to bring otherworldly flavors and recipes to kitchens across the galaxy. The launch of a new limited-edition Guardians Recipe Adventure series and Guardians Snack Adventure kit allows HelloFresh customers and “Guardians of the Galaxy” fans to savor recipes inspired by the movie.

Each Guardians Snack Adventure kit includes pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step recipe cards to make two servings of Zarg Nut Bites and Mango Milky Fizz. The Snack Adventure kit also comes with collectible milk cartons and a jar with cosmic designs from Knowhere.

Truff x Super Mario Bros.

In conjunction with the release of Nintendo’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” Truff introduced a limited-edition collection of sauces. The truffle-infused hot sauces were available as a collectible set on Truff’s website, featuring characters from the iconic video game, including Mario, Toad and Peach.

It was the latest collaboration for the 5-year-old sauce startup, following product partnerships with Taco Bell and Hidden Valley Ranch. In the days leading up to the launch, the online waitlist exceeded 15,000 sign-ups, reaching 20,000 by the release date of April 4. Listings on eBay for the set, which had yet to ship, were asking for as much as $150, while Truff sold the set for $69.99 on its website. Although this collaboration was exclusively released for direct-to-consumer (D2C) customers, Truff hoped it would help introduce the brand to a more mainstream audience.

“As we expand our presence in retail, we want to find unique ways to appeal to consumers that we may not typically target,” Michelle Gabe, director of marketing at Truff, told ModernRetail.

Why Target Gen Z?

While Gen Z is driving the nostalgia trend and has $4.4 trillion in spending power, it’s probably safe to say these collaborations aren’t dying on the Gen Z hill. They are more likely targeting anyone with a Super Mario Bros. or Marvel interest.

However, by tapping into this nostalgia effect, these collaborations can offer a vintage feeling Gen Z consumers seek, which can lead to increased brand loyalty and awareness as well as positive associations with the products involved.

For all PYMNTS retail coverage, subscribe to the daily Retail Newsletter.