Special Report

Food Trends We Hope Never Make a Comeback

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6. Wine coolers

These canned or bottled mixtures of cheap wine and sweetened fruit juice were big in the 1980s. Their defenders used to say that they were gateway drinks, appealing to a young (presumably just barely drinking age) audience who would acquire a taste for wine from them and move on to pricier, more sophisticated stuff. Unfortunately, the taste they offered wasn’t much like wine at all.

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7. Kale everything

Sure, kale is a nutritious green vegetable. It makes a nice side dish. Why turn it into chips, cereal, smoothies, Caesar salad, baby food, nutritional supplements, or skin care products? Leave the poor thing alone.

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8. Bacon-flavored everything

Everybody loves bacon. And few things are better than some crisp-fried strips with your eggs or pancakes or on your cheeseburger, BLT, or club sandwich, or maybe crumbled into a salad. But bacon jelly beans? Hot sauce, coffee, olive oil, vodka — doggy treats? It’s almost enough to make you give up bacon for life, which would be a tragedy.

9. Pumpkin spice everything

Starbucks introduced “pumpkin spice” (a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves) as flavoring for a coffee drink in 2004. The idea soon spread to bagels, cheese, hummus, peanut butter, salsa, and all kinds of other places where it didn’t belong. Author Alex Erickson wrote a mystery novel called “Death by Pumpkin Spice.” We know the feeling.

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10. Birthday-cake-flavored anything (except birthday cake)

What does birthday cake taste like? Obviously it depends on the kind of cake and the kind of frosting. Birthday cake flavor as an additive to other foods, though, seems to mean an overdose of vanilla. And of course, who wouldn’t want that unmistakable cloying vanilla character in their pretzels, peanut butter, jelly beans, or potato chips — not to mention their lip gloss and of course their vodka? We wouldn’t.