The 10 Worst And Bizarre Food Trends From Each Decade
Image Credit: Jello | Image Credit:

We live in a world where food trends come and go. From healthy eating to magical ingredients, food trends have been around for decades. But not all of them turn out to be a success. While some food trends are downright bizarre, others are just plain bad.

The 50s: A Gelatin-Crazy Decade

The 1950s were a time of post-war austerity and rationing, which meant that food had to be frugal, nutritious, and filling. But this didn't stop the food industry from coming up with the strangest food trends. Gelatin-encased dishes became a status symbol in the 1950s because refrigerators were still expensive at the time and Jell-O needed refrigeration to set.

Some of the worst food trends from the 1950s include:

Jell-O salads and savory desserts: These dishes often contained a combination of Jell-O, fruit, vegetables, and sometimes even meat, and they were often served as a side dish or dessert.

The cabbage soup diet, made popular by Hollywood stars of the time, called for participants to subsist entirely on a soup diet for seven days. It came as no shock that the major side effects of eating an unlimited amount of cabbage soup were flatulence and boredom.

Canned soup and vegetables: In particular, the Campbell Soup Company popularized the concept of canned soup casseroles, which were a hit with 1950s housewives. Vegetables were canned and then reheated on the stovetop, making it an unhealthy option because the vegetables lost most of their nutritional value when they were canned.

TV dinners were a popular convenience food in the 1950s. The dinners were pre-cooked and came in a box with several compartments. Convenience came at a price, though, as the dinners were high in fat, sodium, and calories, making them an unhealthy option.

The 60s: The Decade That Gave Us "Pringles"

The 1960s saw the rise of fondue, a Swiss dish that involves dipping small pieces of food into a pot of melted cheese or chocolate. Fondue sets and parties were popular in the 1960s, and the dish was often served as a fun and interactive way to entertain guests.

Here are some bizarre food trends from the 1960s:

The 50s Jell-O molds were back again in the 1960s, this time with cranberry candle salads. A candle is placed in the center of the dish, which is filled with cranberry sauce and red gelatin.

Bun-burgers: To put it simply, a "bun-burger" is a hamburger that has been cooked inside of a bun. Bun-burgers were a strange food trend in the 1960s because they were marketed as new and easy, much to the delight of busy housewives.

The 70s: The Post-War Indulgence Decade

Companies that sold food to the military and made a lot of money did not plan to cut back once the war was over. So they flooded civilian food shelves with their surplus, which was lapped up as obesity started growing in American society.

The 1970s also saw the rise of health foods and natural products; one example is the sprout craze, which involved eating raw sprouts as a way to get more nutrients and enzymes.

Canned meats: Canned meats were a popular food trend in the 1970s, thanks to soldiers developing a liking for them even after coming home from the war. The meats were an unhealthy option because the meats lost most of their nutritional value when they were canned.

Fortunately, this was also the time period that allowed Asian, Italian, and other popular cuisines to become widely popular in North America.

The 80s: The Decade of Fast Food and Buffets

The 1980s were a time of both opulence and the rise of low-fat and diet-conscious foods, and this trend was reflected in some of the more bizarre food fads of the decade. During this time of high consumerism, products with ties to pop culture or celebrities reached their peak.

It's not surprising that Pizza Hut had a buffet in addition to their old-fashioned dine-in service, that KFC had pudding and chicken gizzards on trays, and that Taco Bell dared customers to eat as many cheap burritos as they could for an unlimited price.

The 90s: The Diet Decade

The 90s food trends were largely another failed attempt to reverse the indulgences of the 80s with concepts such as "molecular gastronomy" (coined in 1988). During the diet-crazed 1980s and 1990s, meal replacement shakes became popular, and many people still drink them today.

Molecular chefs experimented with breaking down dishes into their component parts. Although it was revolutionary when it was introduced, consumers soon tired of the pretense and started preferring a traditional, wholesome meal.

The 2000s: The "Raw" Decade of Superfood

The 2000s saw the rise of "superfoods" and functional foods, and this trend was reflected in some of the more bizarre food fads of the decade. One example is the trend of "superfood smoothies," which were made by blending together "superfoods" like acai berries, chia seeds, and goji berries to improve health and well-being.

A healthier, less complicated way of life was advocated for by the Raw Food movement, which had good intentions. However, it took a lot of time and effort to prepare a raw meal, and after a while, the monotony of the diet made it difficult to stick with.

The 2010s: The Rainbow Decade

The rainbow food trend of the 2010s has pushed out the regular, beige food we once loved—spaghetti, doughnuts, and biscuits—into the social media shadows, leaving only the brightly colored nonsense food. This was a very bizarre trend because the dyes used to make the foods rainbow-colored were not proven to be safe for consumption.

Cronuts were a popular food trend in the 2010s, a cross between donuts and croissants made by deep-frying a mixture of dough and butter.

The 2020s: Some of the Latest Bizarre Food Trends

The food industry is constantly coming up with new, interesting, and seemingly bizarre food trends. Some of the latest bizarre food trends include:

Insect-Based Foods: Insect-based foods are a popular food trend. The foods are made with insects and can be used as an alternative to meat.


The 2022 food trends will include natural floral flavors like elderflower, lavender, and others in upscale beverages. These subtle essences add a new dimension to beverages, making artificial sweeteners unnecessary.

While food trends come and go, some of them are downright bizarre.