I didn’t think I needed lotion until I used some, and now I need it.

— is the MOST basic example of the situation I’m talking about; not realizing something was necessary or essential until you’ve tried it.

e.g., looking to use this word for title, brand, etc.

  • addictive – Edwin Ashworth Mar 15 '16 at 0:41
  • learning - after all, we start out knowing nothing. We don't even know that we are hungry until... hey, what is that loud noise? Damn, someone is crying. Wait. It's me. Shoot. – user126158 Mar 15 '16 at 2:32
  • "People want this. They just don't know it yet." - Steve Jobs, before Apple released the iPad – jkdev Mar 17 '16 at 16:09

I'd say, a revelation

Something that surprises you

A pleasant often enlightening surprise


Something revealed or disclosed, especially a striking disclosure, as of something not before realized.

Random House


I can't think of a word for the thing you need at the moment, but the realization that you need something could be dubbed an epiphany.

You might also say you just discovered an essential item.

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