Each year brings a new round of food trends. For an overview of what to expect in 2019, see our crash course on the latest food trends coming this upcoming year. Even though a new year is upon us, there are still many food trends that remain popular.
Among these carry-over food trends, there are some we just can’t wrap our heads around. Many of them start out appealing at first but take a turn for the worse. SPAM, fondue and the Atkin’s diet are all examples of food trends that catch on fast before eventually falling into obscurity.
At the end of 2018, we were still dealing with food trends that no matter how overrated, continue to remain ubiquitous. People love these food fads despite how odd or ridiculous certain dishes get. It seems like restaurants are only doubling down each year on certain trends, even though they've lost their initial appeal, with seemingly no end in sight.
Afford us a vent session when it comes to these food fads that continue to remain popular. They will not go quietly either, with chefs finding new ways to push the envelope.
Even if we like some of these fads, we’ve learned to treat them as guilty pleasures. They shouldn’t be fads anymore, but they continue to intrigue foodies and even casuals alike. It’s time to end the madness. It all starts here with acknowledging these fads have run their course. Hopefully then we can bid adieu to the following in 2019—or else endure even more levels of ridiculousness.
20 Pumpkin Spice
Once fall rolls around, that’s when pumpkin takes over. Whether it’s pumpkin spice Twinkies or Pumpkin Spice Hummus, the shelves become packed with excessive pumpkin options. There’s even a PEEP’s Pumpkin Spice Latte flavor. Not only is it in everything, but they’re even pushing out pumpkin on the public even sooner during the year. According to Forbes, pumpkin spice sightings are happening as early as September. Although good, many will find the flavoring too rich, especially when infused with products already packed with sugar. It’s time to take a stand against pumpkin spice products, or else it’ll soon be in everything year-round.
19 Food Mashups
There’s an idea we like to follow: “everything in moderation.” That means food mashups are good, but not when they go too far. When there’re lots of places to get two different cuisine styles jammed into dishes, it can have mixed results. Cheat Sheet points out one example, which is sushi burritos. There are foodies who certainly love the taste, though there are others this type of food will surely gross out. It seems to have gone so far that eating something like a sushi burrito is more of a dare among friends than it is an enriching dining experience. It’s time to rein in this wild trend.
18 Artisanal Toast
Years ago, the craziest thing anyone ever put on bread was butter and jam. These days though, toast is on a whole other level. A favorite topping for toast these days is avocado mashed over the top of the surface as a spread. Where it goes too far is what places charge for this kind of item. According to Forbes, it’s not uncommon to find avocado toast for the obscene price of $15. It’s time for those selling avocado toast to recognize what it really is and not rip people off. Then again, if people are paying that much, it’s hard to blame food establishments.
17 Ridiculous Fair Food
Fairs have had a reputation for pushing the envelope when it comes to food. It’s part of what makes fairgrounds so popular and fun. Many of the foods there are far from what’s widely available. Though in what seems like an attempt to push things ever further, fair food has gotten out of hand. Take, for example, what the Monterey County Weekly reports the Monterey County Fair offers: fried alligator. Just when we thought fried butter was crossing the line, this fair has upped the ante. We’re afraid of what’s next for fair food and what could possibly top fried alligator.
16 Liquid Nitrogen In Food
It’s not uncommon to find foods infused with liquid nitrogen. It can have a cool effect on food presentation as it makes smoky vapors pour out of a dish. The only problem is, it may have gone too far. To make matters worse, as one chef points out on Fine Dining Lovers, even those educated in the culinary arts tend to struggle using liquid nitrogen properly. Although it makes foods look stylish, there may even be potential dangers. According to the FDA’s website, liquid nitrogen can cause breathing difficulties and possibly injure one's skin. It’s safe to say liquid nitrogen foods have taken things too far.
15 Rainbow Food
When factories make candy, they think about what kids like. The flavor is important, but what kids really care about the most is how something looks. The brighter and more colorful food is, in their eyes, the better. The rainbow food trend gives adults the opportunity to feel like a kid again. What’s odd though is how unappetizing it makes good food look. As Spoon University notes, rainbow bagels are just one example of a good food gone bad simply because of how it looks. With rainbow bread and neon purple cream cheese, we’ve suddenly lost our interest in an otherwise tasty bagel.
We’re not really sure if anyone even likes kale. Still, there’s no denying it, people still buy it. Part of its intrigue must lie in its oft-given label of being a “superfood." When restaurants start offering it as a menu item though, that’s where we raise red flags. This is the point, as Forbes notes, when kale has exhausted itself. Another appeal of this “superfood” are the countless salad recipes that can come from it. The same source points out that kale works well with garlic and lemon flavors, making it a desirable go-to. Despite its versatility though, we’re ready to see this green food go.
13 Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
It’s not all in your head—Flamin’ Hot Cheetos is big right now. So big in fact, people incorporate these crispy snacks into conventional dishes. It’s not unusual to squeeze some lime in a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and shake it up before eating. That’s about as far as it should go though. As Urban Daddy reports, there’s such a thing as a Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Thanksgiving Turkey. People even sprinkle these Cheetos on their pizza. It’s gone to the extreme and there doesn’t look to be an end in sight. We hope this food trend stays in 2018.
12 Bacon With Everything
If we’re being honest, bacon enhances some foods. We don’t mind it on sandwiches or burgers, but when it starts to trickle into other foods, it starts to get murky. The Huffington Post seems to think that bacon has gone too far after witnessing sushi wrapped in the popular strip of pork. What’s most concerning is the need to put bacon on foods to make them tolerable. Whether it’s a piece of salmon wrapped in bacon or bundles of asparagus, the obsession with this simple meat has certainly gone to another level. We just think it’s time to scale back on the love for bacon.
11 Food Trucks
Food trucks have run their course. It used to feel new and fun walking up to a truck, ordering food and eating it at a small bench nearby. Here we are in 2019 and the novelty has worn off. Some food trucks charge too much, they give smaller portions and it can take longer to receive food. It would seem that food trucks were once an alternative to pricier restaurants, though it seems less the case these days. CNBC thinks it may have to do with the economy, with parking and regulation costs hitting them harder than they used to. Whatever the case may be, restaurants are looking more appealing than food trucks lately.
10 Acai Bowls
Acai Bowls are still the rage. This food craze has been around for years, and yet it continues to thrive. The site Guff notes that it’s essentially a smoothie in a bowl with fruit decorating the top. It’s not an understatement to say that it looks like decoration either. An acai bowl can be a piece of art on par with a cup of latte—although maybe not as eye-catching. They’re tasty and healthy too, which makes this a doubly appealing trend. One has to wonder though if they're really as good and healthy as people are making them out to be?
9 Halo Top Ice Cream
Those who haven’t heard of Halo Top ice cream before probably living in a hole underground. This ice cream boasts its low calories without compromising on flavor. The fact that they paste "280 per pint" on their cartons shows how enthusiastic they are about this. It’s a dietary “cheat” to be able to still enjoy ice cream without putting on as much pounds from conventional brands. According to Food and Wine, it even started outselling Ben & Jerry’s back in mid-2017. Then again, ice cream is ice cream—it’s not like it’s good for you. People still scream for Halo Top ice cream, but we think it’s time for this fad to end.
8 Deconstructed Food
Many high end restaurants have reputations for serving smaller food portions. It would seem, however, that the trend is now among the mainstream. Dubbed “deconstructed food,” as per The Telegraph, an example may come in the form of a platter containing fries, an empty bun and small slab of pulled pork. Not only do customers eat the food in separate parts—or combined traditionally if they so choose—they're forced to look at their meal like a piece of art. Some chefs like presenting food a different way, and many customers will be receptive to it. We just think it should belong in high end restaurants.
7 Avocado Everything
Avocados are delicious. An equally positive trait about this green and healthy food is that it’s versatile. It can go on lots of dishes, from salads to eggs to burritos. We’re not sure it should go on everything though. The site Guff points out that perhaps avocado on pizza is the last straw. One could argue it’s no longer pizza once someone swaps out tomato sauce for avocado. Putting two great foods together doesn’t always add up to an even better dish. Avocado has gone too far, but it’s unlikely to go away any time soon. Still, there are worse foods that could stick around.
6 Stuffed Bell Peppers
Stuffed bell peppers have been around forever. Whether it’s putting ground beef and rice or something equally delicious inside, these make for healthy and tasty meals. Alas, food trends such as this are incapable of staying simple for long. Today, it’s not uncommon to find really out-there stuffed bell pepper recipes. Whether it’s quinoa, Philly cheese steak or even Hawaiian pizza, the stuffed bell pepper has reached its limits. It makes one wonder whether bell peppers are really all that good or versatile enough to accommodate all those recipes. We hope the end is nigh for elaborate stuffed bell peppers.
5 Truffle Oil
Truffles have long enticed foodies. It’s only natural that truffle oil would catch on too. Not everyone is on board though, including celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis. In an interview with Bravo TV, she called out truffles for being in everything; that’s in part thanks to truffle oil. “It’s very overpowering,” shared De Laurentiis. “Use in moderation! It’s been overused a little too much.” If a celebrity chef thinks the trend has gone too far, then it’s probably true. She also points out that it’s more appropriate in-season, instead of being available in many dishes year-round. If this food trend disappeared, we wouldn’t miss it.
4 Red Velvet
Some people can’t get enough red velvet. No matter how long ago red velvet became a thing, it’s still alive and kicking. When food trends start trickling into other products unrelated to food though, it’s gotten out of hand. According to Charlotte Observer, when a red velvet cake isn’t enough, there exists such a thing as red velvet protein powder. There’s something ironic about inhaling red velvet cake one moment and working out with red velvet protein powder the next. It seems there’s no stopping the red velvet enthusiasts though, despite the massive interest even beyond food. One would think the world would be sick of it by now.
3 Milk Substitutes
There’s a divided opinion out there about milk and its health benefits. Due to the polarizing nature on this issue, many switch to milk substitutes. Those can include soy, almond and rice milks, to name a few. Although there’ve been alternatives for years that people buy and drink, it may have gone too far. New Country KX 96.9 reports that EntoMilk is a substitute that actually uses nutrients found from the substance a cockroach lactates. It sounds so gross, it makes one wonder whether people are better off drinking regular milk. Whether EntoMilk is the new food trend or not, it proves that milk substitutes have run their course.
2 Intermittent Fasting
It takes a lot of discipline and self-control to fast from food for any period of time. Today, it’s a widely touted trend that’s only gaining steam into the new year. We can’t deny the potential benefits that come from fasting. According to Men’s Journal, the trick is to do intermittent fasting programs, which can last up to 16 hours at a time. That’s a long time to go without food. It seems like a practice that’s better suited to a niche group instead of the masses though, making one hope it doesn't continue to gain popularity without an end in sight.
Among chili sauces, Sriracha is king. Chances are a friend or relative has at least one bottle of this red stuff sitting in their fridge. The fact that major fast food chains have it in their menu items, including McDonalds, Jack in the Box and Subway—as Forbes reports—shows how popular it is. At the same time, Sriracha was so yesterday. The makers behind it must be ecstatic. It’s the chili sauce that “made it” now that it’s in fast food. It’s made an impression on the public and now it’s in everything. That means it’s reached its limit and is ready to retire.