Pretzels have been around for over 140 decades. That means thousands of years and countless generations enjoying the tasty, twisty treat throughout changing times. Up to now, the average American consumes 2 pounds worth of pretzels every year. That translates to over half a billion dollars’ worth of pretzels sold in a year in the United States. What makes them so enduring as one of the nation’s popular staple snacks?
The Twists and Turns of Pastry
Throughout time, the pretzel has changed in small ways that have made it even more palatable to a wide audience without completely shifting into something unrecognizable. With its distinctive knot and perfect texture of softness and hardness mixed into one, every generation can recognize it immediately.
Food franchise opportunities continue to thrive in this age that is geared towards pretzels precisely because people still love the easy-to-eat treat. Even though one might think that picking a snack food is so niche, it enjoys a captive market of people who love their fair share of pretzel goodness, whether it’s the classic iteration or one of many flavors being served these days.
Another major factor that could arguably be the contributor to its enduring success with modern-day foodies is because of nostalgia. The pretzel has often been associated with unforgettable sporting events, the fun summer days of childhood, and even as a symbol of luck for specific groups.
Today, a major demographic in the world are the millennials, who have been dubbed as the nostalgia generation. Many aspects of the millennial lifestyle revolve around highlighting specific wonders from the past and integrating them into modern life. We see this in the way marketing tries to reach this audience and even in many activities, messaging, and styles that we see throughout their lifestyles.
This has trickled down to the Gen Z teens, and the same feeling is even shared by boomers who are now entering the age group where nostalgia naturally becomes more of an occurrence. There is this intersection of emotion and a general desire to patronize products that bring back those golden days and happy feelings. It seems only apt that there would still be such a demand for something as classic and timeless as the pretzel.
The Future in Knots
A lot of uncertainty lies within the future in general, but continuous innovation makes what may be a more exciting thing to look forward to. This also applies in the world of gastronomy, as chefs and enthusiasts find ways to inject something new into food favorites that people have come to love.
These innovations apply to pretzels, too. Today, new flavors continue to be developed that still retain the goodness of the snack. New methods of creating them make it faster to serve and much easier for people to pick them up whenever they want. There are more varieties available than ever with soft and hard pretzels alike and price points that match different lifestyles.
This is very indicative of the pretzel’s continued reign as the go-to goodie for US citizens. Though it has always remained on top of the snack system, it looks like 2020 (with all of its complications and changes) may be the perfect year to bring back the renaissance of pretzels.