Nestlé UK bringing retro packagings back to help people with memory disorders revive the past

Nestlé UK & Ireland wants to trigger joyful memories among people with dementia using vintage designs of confectionary packaging. It has created a so-called reminiscence pack that features a bunch of old and much-loved wrappers of brands including Aero, Rowntree’s Dairy Box, Nestlé Milk, and more.


The project, which aims to help people revive bright and positive recollections, was developed using recommendations from the UK-based Alzheimer’s Society, a group that helps fight memory disorders in the UK. The revived packaging is now being tested by the Society in two support groups, engaged in working with people who have dementia.

The designs have been taken from the Nestlé UK & Ireland Archive to help older people recreate happy recollections from their early years. The reminiscence pack that includes a board game, counter unit, posters, tin labels, wrappers, and DIY boxes—can also be downloaded from the company’s site. They can be printed out on paper or card and cut out to put onto existing products—the wrappers and labels are of the same size as the ones on regular bars and tins.

Pic.: Rowntree’s cut-out box (click to enlarge),

In addition to bringing old archived packaging designs back into the light, Nestlé has revived some vintage versions of much-loved UK brands to couple visual with taste. This «cocktail» could trigger recollections from the long-term memory in a much more effective way.

“Even something as simple as an old sweet wrapper can bring back vivid memories from a happy time,” commented Alison Cook, of Alzheimer’s Society. “This activity helps carers and loved ones to engage with people with dementia in a positive way, and has the potential to improve the quality of life for the 800,000 living with dementia in the UK.”