4 Nostalgic Treats That Have Been Totally Reinvented

Nostalgia is a sensation we experience in our stomachs nearly as much as we do in our hearts and minds. Whether it's the pang of memories from hearing a song we used to love or the taste of a childhood treat we haven't had in years, the emotion of nostalgia is powerful. And perhaps in no time, this is being reflected in the items on grocery store shelves. Food and beverage brands know that we're all suckers for retro throwbacks. Several brands are harnessing this sweet, sweet nostalgia with new items that make us say, "OMG, I remember eating those!" But these snacks are made with more inclusive ingredient lists, more sustainable practices, and flavors that (dare we say) might be more delicious than the OG version. 


Four brands obliging our cravings for old-school treats with reinvented versions are Fudgy Pop, Goodles, Magic Spoon, and Hippeas. With fudge bars inspired by the ice cream truck fave, ooey-gooey boxed mac and cheese for grown-up taste buds, whimsical boxes of cereal that remind us of lazy Saturday mornings, and addictively crunchy cheese puffs that take us back to the days of trading POGs, you can reclaim these treats and tastes you grew up on — sans the dial-up internet or low-rise jeans.

Fudgy Pop reinvents the ice cream truck classic

"Is it a comeback or a throwback?" asks Fudgy Pop, the reinvented fudge bar. And the answer is: "Kinda both." It wouldn't be a quintessential summer of our youth without cooling off from a long day on the trampoline or Slip 'N Slide with a frozen fudge pop out of the freezer. Now, Fudgy Pop is putting the classic childhood treat back on the map with a reinvented version of the pop we remember, made with the ingredients we look for as adults. The two female founders behind Fudgy Pop have harnessed the vibes of the classic Popsicle treat with retro-inspired packaging and a taste that sends us right back. 


While the classic old-school treat hasn't changed much in the past 20 years, Fudgy Pop's edition is made with super-rich, creamy Guittard chocolate for a more decadent, fudge-like mouthfeel. We'd argue that you're never too old for frozen chocolate on a stick, but if your stomach is saying no to dairy or gluten these days, you don't have to be left out of the fun with this version. The pops are on shelves nationwide at retailers like Sprouts and they ship nationwide from the brand's website.

Goodles elevates the humble boxed mac and cheese

If there's an official food of childhood, it'd have to be mac and cheese. For many of us, the boxes of dry noodles and neon orange cheese were one of the first foods we could make all on our own. Luckily, the classic comfort food has grown up with us. While we love an elevated homemade macaroni and cheese, perhaps with fancy cheese and high-quality pasta, sometimes you just need to crack open a box of the instant stuff — no matter your age. Goodles is a brand delivering on the classic nostalgia of instant mac and cheese made for the modern foodie.


The rainbow of boxed flavors from Goodles delivers the same comforting ooey-gooey goodness as the old-school version, but with upgraded flavor options such as parmesan, cacio e pepe, and vegan varieties. Actress Gal Gadot, of Wonder Woman fame, is the public face of the brand and founding partner. You may have seen her on social media, sharing the brand's commitment to offering fiber and protein-packed boxed mac, which has gained the attention of Forbes, US Weekly, and thousands of devoted online fans.

Magic Spoon brings back cereal inspired by Saturday morning cartoons

For many of us, nothing says carefree childhood mornings quite like Saturday morning cartoons along with a heaping bowl of cereal —preferably with a fun game or puzzle on the back of the box. No one knows this better than Magic Spoon, who burst into the grocery scene with its colorful, whimsical boxes of cereal in flavors like frosted, maple waffle, and fruity. You've likely seen them on shelves at major retailers like Target and Walmart, and online at Amazon. "Childhood classics, grown-up ingredients" is the brand's motto, and among its bragging points are its keto-friendly and high protein nutrition profile, no artificial ingredients, and of course, childlike doodles and games on all its boxes.


The brand's commitment to "childhood classics, grown-up ingredients" now extends to a new line of puffed cereal-based treats, in big-kid-friendly flavors like blueberry muffin and double chocolate. Think of them like protein bars infused with a dose of Rice Krispies-adjacent nostalgia. Who says we're ever too old for that?

Hippeas reimagines the cheese puff, but made from chickpeas

There's nothing that illustrates playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends for hours or watching movie marathons at sleepovers quite like neon orange cheese-crusted fingers from digging into bags of Cheetos. While the classic treat is still going strong on grocery store shelves, for those who can't have dairy cheese (or just want a shorter ingredient list and a less processed option), Hippeas delivers on all the same cheesy crunchy goodness with its reimagined cheese puffs. 


If you're vegan or dairy-free, Hippeas has you covered with its addictive, light-as-air, super crunchy chickpea puffs. The brand aims to make a yellow cheese puff that's actually healthy, with 100% plant-based ingredients that deliver some protein to boot. Hippeas, which invites shoppers to "give peas a chance," offers flavors like vegan white cheddar, nacho, and barbecue — all totally delicious, yet made with only a handful of ingredients like chickpeas, rice, pea flours, and spices.

Nostalgia plays a powerful role in our connection to food and flavor

Nostalgia plays a powerful role in our lives. A scent can transport us back decades, and the foods we ate as kids or in meaningful times in our lives stay with us long after the last after-school snack is over. It turns out, the warm and fuzzy feelings of nostalgia exist on a scientific level; unlocking not just core memories, but actual dopamine in our brain as we associate certain foods with positive memories. So, it makes total sense that nostalgia guides our approach to eating


According to the Journal of Consumer Research, shoppers are even willing to spend more at the store if it means recapturing some of the positive feelings of happiness from simpler times, via nostalgic products. This is particularly true during times of unrest and uncertainty, but also during particular seasons, which may explain why we all crave retro treats during the holidays. While we mourn the loss of certain nostalgic childhood snacks that no longer exist on shelves, brands are luckily springing into action by creating new goodies that tap into our nostalgia, help us reminisce, and might even help us create new core memories with each bite.