A taste of nostalgia

Alexandra Vignolles (Department of Marketing, INSEEC Business School, Bordeaux, France)
Paul-Emmanuel Pichon (Tourism, Hospitality and Food Studies’ Department, Université Toulouse II Le Mirail, Toulouse, France)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Publication date: 3 June 2014



The purpose of this article is to analyze the links between nostalgia and food consumption.


Based on an exploratory qualitative analysis of 104 descriptions of nostalgic food consumptions, the use of NVivo helps to substantiate and interpret the textual interview data.


The research suggests six themes of food nostalgia (childhood, yearning, substitute, homesickness, special occasions and rediscovery). Prior research suggests that nostalgia is rather a negative or ambivalent emotion; however, the findings of this study suggest that nostalgic food consumption is rather related to positive emotions.

Practical implications

Perspectives are given for the use of nostalgia in an advertising context and as a reinsurance factor.


This research integrates marketing and sociological perspectives to better understand links between food consumption and nostalgia.



Vignolles, A. and Pichon, P. (2014), "A taste of nostalgia", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 225-238. https://doi.org/10.1108/QMR-06-2012-0027

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