DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK… is 2024 the year of nostalgia?

The return of Girls Aloud, the creation of a ‘mullet-only’ salon, whispers of ‘90s favourite Woolworths set to make a return to UK high streets, and now, the launch of Foster’s Proper Shandy. The cost-of-living crisis has rekindled a love for nostalgia – but which items from the past have stood the test of time?
New research shows more than a quarter of us (26%) believe fleeces have done so, alongside bubble-gum (23%), and shandy (17%). For Gen Z, baggy jeans (28%) and digital cameras (20%) also make the cut. But opinion is divided when it comes to the old school mullet, with over 10% of 16 to 24 years being fans of the iconic do, with a rapid decline of this opinion when it comes to the over 45s.

When it comes to London, it’s bubble-gum that is the overwhelming nostalgic favourite that comes out on top with 24% feeling that it has stood the test of time*. With Cream Soda (26%) and Shandy (16%) also highlighted as some of the top tipples with fond memories*.

The findings, from a survey conducted by Foster’s Proper Shandy, shows almost two thirds of us (37%) think something that is 16 to 20 years old is retro, with one in 10 (11%) thinking something classes as vintage when it’s a mere 6 to 10 years old.

The insights reveal that:

Fleeces (26%) and bubble gum (23%) are amongst the top nostalgic things that have stood the test of time
Over 10% of 16 to 24-year-olds think that mullets have stood the test of time – ahead of those over 45, who would have experienced the trend’s emergence the first time round
Baggy jeans and digital cameras are also things that appear to be coming back round – with 14% and 15% respectively agreeing that these items have stood the test of time
Cream soda, BabyCham and shandy are the top three drinks that comes to mind when UK adults think of a nostalgic drink
Two fifths of UK adults aged 35 to 54 (40%) say shandy comes to mind when they think of a nostalgic drink
A quarter of respondents aged 35 – 54 (25%) say an item needs to be 6-10 years old to be classified as nostalgic
Just under two fifths of UK adults (37%) think an item needs to be only 16-20 years old for it to be classified as nostalgic

“It’s not surprising some of the top things that spring to mind for people when they get nostalgic is food or drink, because smell is the most powerful sense when it comes to imprinting memories,” says beer & food writer Melissa Cole.

“Whilst I’m not really a fan of a mullet, and am certainly not happy about low-rise jeans making a comeback, I can get behind the return of the shandy as a nostalgic refreshing drink.

“The other thing is that, being low in alcohol, it fits with current market trends with low and no alcohol products becoming increasingly popular, and also suits a wide variety of different occasions, from a quiet night in to a summer BBQ party with a bunch of friends.”

For more than a quarter (27%) of 35 to 44-year-olds it’s a nostalgic drink that sets them up for a relaxing evening with popular drinks like ginger beer (18%), shandy (17%) and mocktails (15%) the most nostalgic lower alcohol drinks we go for. In fact, shandy and lager top (lager with just a dash of lemonade) account for 4.5% of all serves in pubs & bars[1] – equating to more than 193 million pints. The launch of Foster’s Proper Shandy is perfectly timed to tap into the trend of nostalgia, by offering a classic and much-loved British serve in a convenient can.
The ultimate combination of tasty and refreshing, Foster’s Proper Shandy is a well-balanced shandy with zesty and fruity lemon notes, followed by a smooth beer aftertaste.
Commissioned to celebrate the launch of Foster’s Proper Shandy, the research looks to salute the memories of those familiar with the trends first time round, as well as younger consumers who are discovering these pre-loved trends for the first time.