7 Food Trends We Hope Stay in 2018

Enough already with the rainbow-hue "unicorn" foods and the charcoal detox drinks. Here are the 2018 food trends we hope drop in popularity quicker than the ball drops on December 31.

Many food trends seem to come and go quicker than the must-have hairstyle of the moment. Remember the here-then-forgotten cronut? But other food trends just won't quit; they stick around longer than the beloved Rachel from Friends 'do.

Now that we've covered America's most popular foods of 2018, we're rounding up the food trends we hope will stay in 2018. (In other words, end now—and forever). May these wacky restaurant and food trends rest in peace.

Bag of Unicorn Poop Candy with pieces scattered on table
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

1. Rainbow or Unicorn [Fill in the Blank]

At least FOUR cookbooks featuring unicorn food (featuring plant-based recipes, whimsical desserts, magical sweets, and natural colorings) were released in 2018 alone. The technicolor rainbow bagel trend is hanging on strong across Instagram, and everything from Unicorn Poop Marshmallows to Unicorn Booger Candies to Unicorn Kiss Seltzer can be purchased directly from Amazon.

Why is everything rainbow "unicorn"? And why does candy come out of a unicorn nose? The world will never know.

Box of Popeye's Emotional Support Chicken on flight tray table
Photo courtesy of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. POPEYES® LAUNCHES “EMOTIONAL SUPPORT CHICKEN” TO PROVIDE A LITTLE HUMOR TO HELP EASE THE STRESS OF HOLIDAY TRAVEL

2. Wacky Restaurant PR Stunts

In March, Pizza Hut released a custom pair of "pie top" sneakers that allow fans to order pizzas using their shoes. Then for a month this summer, IHOP switched to IHOb (shifting their focus from pancakes to burgers). Come October, Panera released a custom spork to scoop up their mac and cheese. Just in time for the holidays, KFC dropped an 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog said to smell like Colonel Sanders' chicken recipe. And to cap off the crazy public relations year in the culinary world, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen offered "emotional support chicken" to ride along with air travelers commuting through Philadelphia International Airport.

If the food trends continue, will 2019 include pizza delivered directly to your airline seat via unicorn?

Blue box of Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

3. Unnecessary Food Mash-Ups

Mayochup, and the social media storm created by Heinz's mayo + ketchup condiment, was only the beginning. Several other "do we really need to mix these things?" products were released during the last 365 days:

In our opinion, it's tough to beat a classic. And if we really wanted Lucky Charms and Frosted Flakes, we could probably pour a half-and-half bowl.

Tub of Pickle Cotton Candy with pickle giving a thumbs up on the label
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

4. Pickle-flavored Everything

We're all for pickled beets, pickled watermelon, and even pickle-spiked whiskey. (Don't knock it 'til you try it!) But Pickle Cotton Candy, Pickle Mints, Pickle Freeze Pops,and Pickle Candy Canes? It's time to stop making such a big "dill" about this trendy flavor inspiration.

Bag of fries with Non GMO Organic label on front
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Jena Ardell. Conceptual food image of french fries: bad food, junk food, fast food, french fry. Label says Non GMO (Non Genetically Modified) Organic.

5. Slippery Usage of “Natural”

Natural-cut fries (really, how do you slice something unnaturally?), naturally flavored toaster pastries, and natural juice products made with zero fruit. The wiggly definition of "natural" is making nutrition label and menu claims harder and harder to believe. About 60 percent of people look for the term "natural" on a label and think products that include it are better health-wise than those without the word, according to a 1,000-person survey by Consumer Reports. However, the Food and Drug Administration has no set definition of "natural." Order and eat at your own risk if you're aiming to avoid nonorganic, pesticide-free, or nongenetically modified items.

Black bag of Gr8nola Charcola Chia granola
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

6. Charcoal Infusions

Cited as a potential hangover cure, internal-detoxer, and teeth-whitener, activated charcoal has been added to granola, juice cleanse drinks, ice cream, and much more. But according to our friends at SHAPE, consuming charcoal does more harm than good, causing our bodies to absorb fewer nutrients from the other ingredients the charcoal is paired with (say, oats, milk, etc.) than normal. We'll be steering clear in 2019—and beyond.

Tossing head of romaine in a trash can
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Tom Foldes. Romaine Lettuce Thrown Away After Recall Scare

7. All the Recalls

Romaine lettuce, ground beef, eggs, ground turkey, and NO, not the tahini we need for hummus! It seemed like almost daily we’d turn our computers and find another food recall—or several. While we are sure to share updated reports as soon as we can, we worry all these recalls will make our society afraid of fresh food.

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