Often, food acts as a floodgate for memories. When you bite into a slice of Funfetti cake, you’re reminded of a childhood friend’s birthday party; a taste of Rice Krispies brings you to back to the bowls you would inhale after a long day at school; or the flavor of cookie dough and how it’s never quite as good as the spoonfuls you would steal from the bowl as your mother stirred. Cue the longing.
Foods, sweets, in particular, are interlaced with our memories and carry a great deal of nostalgia. With that in mind, it is no wonder that brands have capitalized on consumers’ love for childhood treats and achieved sweet success.
But, how exactly did they do it? Three steps: these companies know the value of brand strategy, they consistently seek out ways to stay relevant, and they fully understand the power of “aesthetic” in the digital age.
Dessert is the Only Thing on the Menu
Milk Bar, a trendy bakery started by Christina Tosi, sells unique staples such as birthday cake-flavored cake truffles, Crack pie, and compost cookies. Beyond the food’s epic flavors and bright colors, the brand has come to reign supreme in one category: collaborations.
Recently, Milk Bar collaborated with Soulcycle to create a protein-packed workout cookie made with natural sweeteners and almond flour. Tosi also partnered with Madewell to create select clothing items and products as well as D.C based pizza chain, &pizza, to create dessert menu items. Each of these successful collaborations shows that Milk Bar is adaptable and takes advantage of current trends.
You might think that collaborating with both a pizza chain and a clothing chain would be difficult, but Milk Bar knows how to adjust its products so that consumers in each sector will flock to its goods. Not to mention that by targeting different industries, Milk Bar has managed to achieve popularity among foodies, fashionistas, and fitness gurus alike.
If it wasn’t enough that Ronnie Fieg launched the popular streetwear brand Kith. In 2015 he opened Kith Treats ice cream and cereal shop. Why was this a genius venture? Fieg jumpstarted the idea of incorporating a food vendor into a store. This delicious addition helped to grow the Kith clothing brand, which by 2015 already had a cult following.
Fieg is also no stranger to the importance of branding. The packaging for both Kith and Kith Treats is minimalistic with subdued colors. The cereal milk even comes in futuristic glass bottles that simply say “Kith”. For shoppers of Kith who are familiar with the brand’s simple designs, Kith Treats aligns with what they already know and love.
Fieg also attracts consumers to Kith Treats through its menu. With a make-your-own treat option, and ice cream and cereal combinations created by public figures, it is evident that Fieg understands a consumer’s desire and love for childhood treats.
Just DŌ It
Imagine being able to eat cookie dough, minus the fear (remember all your parents’ warnings about Salmonella?). Well, your childhood dream is now a reality with DŌ in NYC. The founder, Kristen Tomlan, has tapped into an enormous market of adults now jumping with glee.
Tomlan has kept the brand relevant through her creative press strategies. It is true that edible cookie dough could have easily been a passing trend, cool on Instagram for a moment before quietly fading away. However, Tomlan hasn’t, and isn’t, letting that happen. She’s keeping consumers aware of her brand and, in doing so, maintaining its popularity.
For example, consider the initiative that DŌ is running this summer. In NYC through Labor Day, DŌ has set up shop at the Chef’s Club Counter in SoHo with Camp Cookie DŌ. Think servers dressed as camp counselors; tire swings, camp merchandise, and themed desserts like Campfire Sundaes. This pop up expertly taps into consumers’ childhoods allowing them to relive their favorite memories.
Of course, these three brands caught our eye due to their delicious content and mouth-watering ideas. One of the main reasons we have these companies on our minds is because they approach consumers with the same creative energy that we do at CBC. That think-outside-the-norm-because-that’s-where-the-best-ideas-are attitude is what CBC is known for. Providing consumers with a unique, memorable experience is what we pride ourselves on. And – throw in a few ice cream sundaes, cake pops, and cookie sandwiches, and we are certainly in our element.