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“Touch grass” is—simultaneously—a rallying cry and a specific criticism, CNBC ran an article last week saying “dumb phones are on the rise” with Gen Z, and Car And Driver magazine now waxes poetic about buttons and nobs in cars over touchscreens, praising manufacturers for “refreshingly straightforward simplicity.”
Just one year after “crypto winter,” “real life,” it seems, is becoming a lifestyle.
Though nostalgia has become an increasingly powerful pull over the last several years, the move away from the internet (or at least a distancing from it) seems to be a potential overcorrection to a bull run of life online.
It’s unclear whether this is a mass trend or a counterculture moment, but it’s worth exploring—especially as it relates to CPG.
Andrea Hernández has pioneered coverage of CPG aesthetics and exploring CPG as a means of status signaling. And this seems to begin to cross over into that territory.
The rise of celebrity and creator-backed brands, the growing popularity of chef-and restaurant-labeled goods… all of it suggests a lifestyle-ification that maps to a growing consumer willingness to invest in—and tie identity to—IRL.
From “Celebrity, Revisited:”
The Feastables products/Mr. Beast overlap is so strong and so well blended, that it’s quickly becoming hard to tell which is the primary product. And that’s near genius. The products—chocolate and cookies thus far—are not just chocolate bars and cookies. They’re tickets to a world his fans know deeply.
What we didn’t cover in that newsletter was why those tickets mattered. They’re public and real and tangible.
For a generation (in Mr. Beast’s case) that’s buying up flip phones and Nokias, that might be more valuable than the product itself.