Nestlé recreates childhood recipes for people with Alzheimer’s in emotive campaign

‘Unforgettable Recipes’ shows how powerful food can be in helping memories come rushing back

Published On
Apr 22, 2024
Senior aged woman sitting at a table and a text overlay that reads "Unforgettable Recipes" in Portuguese

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Losing a loved one to Alzheimer’s is difficult, especially as you watch in real time as their memories escape them. For those experiencing it, it is even more challenging. Suddenly, they struggle to recall everything from their age and birthdays to their parents, their spouses, even their children. 

But the mind works in fascinating ways, and studies have shown both food and music can help those suffering from Alzheimer’s remember things deep in their minds. 

Based on these studies that reveal the act of sharing meals creates affective memories, Nestlé and Publicis Brazil launched an experiment called “Unforgettable Recipes.” 

Produced by O2 Filmes, directed by Fred Luz and supported by chef Carol Albuquerque, a four-minute campaign film follows the stories of four individuals living with Alzheimer’s as Nestlé reproduces recipes from their childhoods. Using old recipe cards written by the subjects themselves, interviews with families and more, chef Albuquerque recreates their favorite dishes, in hopes that memories come flooding back. 


For Júlio, she makes salted cod. Antônia eats “sarapatel” again. Maria has “ball cake” and Junilia tries “bean cake.” In each instance, memories once lost come rushing back in what is an emotional reawakening of the past.

“The campaign highlights the power that recipes have to establish deep connections between people, reviving memories and emotions and shaping experiences that last a lifetime,” said Ionah Kochen, VP of marketing and communications at Nestlé. “It reinforces the purpose of Nestlé Recipes, which has connected people emotionally through food for more than 60 years.”

The campaign, running on social media, shows that the bonds created around the table last longer than anyone imagined. 

In addition to the campaign film, all recipes recreated for the campaign are available on the Nestlé Recipes website. The public can also share their own dishes and stories on the platform.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, which, according to data from the Alzheimer Brazil Institute (IAB), a partner in the experiment, is the most frequent cause of dementia.

“‘Unforgettable Recipes’ is a project with a strong purpose,” said Mauro Ramalho, chief creative officer at Publicis Brazil. “We help to propagate a theme that is part of the reality of thousands of Brazilians and that deserves attention.”