Food & Drink Trends We've Worn Out in 2022
From quality TV catering to everyone's inner foodie debuting all year long to some of our favorite celebs taking on new culinary ventures, 2022 has been one for the pop culture books. But let's be honest: Some viral videos and content are long overdue for retirement. Though I obviously prefer (OK, obsess over) consuming all the food and drink-focused content the internet has to offer, this beloved category was no exception in 2022. Whether scrolling to scratch a curious itch or rubbernecking in sheer horror, we've worn out many food and drink trends this year.
For every brilliant baked oats recipe or easy game-changing salad shared on social media, there's also always some hypnotic yet cringe-worthy train wreck we can't help but scroll through in shock and awe. On the other end of the "OMG, why can't I look away from my screen?" spectrum, there are those pesky trending topics we can't get enough of—or so we think. Perhaps the innovative minds behind the "virility" of digital media didn't consider the fact that—much like popular songs played on the good 'ol fashioned FM radio that come in hot only to get overplayed ad nauseam—some content, topics, and hashtags can admittedly get really old really fast, even when it centers around the latest food and drink trends.
Throughout 2022, my social media feeds have felt like the movie Groundhog Day because of how frequently I was served similar "trending" food and drink content or commentary addressing ideas that I thought we as a society had already moved beyond years ago. (After all, you can only "rosé all day" so many times before people start expressing their concerns for your health and well being.) While some food and drink trends are lucky to even enjoy a full "15 minutes of fame," there are others people still can't seem to get enough of for whatever reason, despite being impractical, messy, or just plain gross. However, the sooner we can let these trends fade into obscurity, the more space there is to introduce fresh, interesting ideas to the cultural zeitgeist. And because trends tend to be cyclical, letting go of the old creates an opportunity to for material boomerang back as a nostalgic reboot, enabling you to fully appreciate its predecessor.
Much like Member's Only Jackets and Beanie Babies, these are food and drink trends that made waves in 2022, but now it's time to pack them away deep into the recesses of our mental attics.
Charcuterie and butter boards
Here's an unpopular opinion: I've always been pretty underwhelmed by charcuterie. If I may call a spade a spade, it's an adult's Lunchable dressed up with a Pinterest aesthetic. However, CNBC Make It reports that charcuterie boards along with butter boards ranked supreme in the top 10 TikTok food trends of 2022 with 1.2 billion views and 358.4 million views, respectively, according to data sourced from UK restaurant chain Chiquito. But thanks to the over-saturation of this content throughout 2022, I'm beyond bored with all food boards. Why?
First of all, it seems like only a small percentage of us really know how to properly pronounce "charcuterie," a reality best summed up TikTok user @cimaechris3's video:
According to this adorable viral TikTok video of a baby pronouncing this French term accurately shared by @emilieiggiott, the proper way to say this is "char-cou-ter-ee":
Pronunciations aside, the food board trend also seems pretty unsanitary. I totally understand why shared food boards probably become so popular; as we progress toward a post-pandemic existence, sharing food can help reestablish the sense of connection and community we all missed and yearned during periods of lockdown. At the same time, can't we make a similar connection while eating from our own plates? In addition to seeming unsanitary, as @nickiunplugged explains on TikTok, "It's catfishing!"
"These butter boards are catfishing you into thinking, 'I want to make that. I want to have people over to dip their breads and crackers in that.' It's untrue. It's false advertising," @nickiunplugged continues.
Eating artisanal treats off a shared board may sound elegant and fun in theory, but once people start taking their own dollops and schemers, the blended blob of scraps and saturated fats left behind in the aftermath does not seem super appetizing. The only way I can imagine genuinely enjoying a butter board, charcuterie board, or the like is if I can get a platter to myself as everyone else stands at least six feet away from me and my board.
The lion diet
This viral TikTok trend has only caught steam as of late, according to the New York Post. However, the risk factor it presents is enough for me to think it may be time to put this food trend to bed. The lion diet is described as a 30-day regiment where one commits to only consuming meat, salt, and water over 30 days.
While the founder of the lion diet, podcaster and TedEx speaker Mikhaila Peterson, reportedly claimed this diet was a "'cure-all' for fatigue, intolerances, and gut issues," according to the Daily Mail, the logistics of this seems too impractical to be totally safe. Research shows that having too much sodium can have a number of adverse effects on the body, including increasing your risk for heart disease. Likewise, studies suggest that having too much red meat on a daily basis can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Though the lion diet is designed to be a temporary elimination diet, the cardiovascular concerns are an undeniable red flag. I wouldn't recommend rolling the dice on medical insight gleaned via TikTok—not without consulting a healthcare professional who is familiar with my overall medical history first.
'Healthy Coke' & Pilk
Just when you though the Coke-versus-Pepsi rivalry couldn't escalate any further, TikTok users took to their accounts to mercilessly flood social media feeds with content about two puzzling beverage concepts leveraging each of these iconic soda brands. One would think that a new spin on these classic favorites would be exciting—but truthfully, neither seems particularly tasty.
"Healthy Coke" was first introduced over the summer of '22, spreading like wildfire among TikTok users who were on the hunt for a refreshing yet nutritious alternative to a standard Coca-Cola. Though the TikTok user credited with first sharing this trend, @mandyvjones, claims that this concoction—which combines balsamic vinegar with any flavored sparkling beverage and ice—"tastes just like a Coke," this assertion seemed highly suspicious. A number of other TikTok users attempted to figure out if this was a legitimately delicious, refreshing beverage by recreating "healthy Coke" themselves. Although some people seemed to tolerate it, many others were either disgusted, confused, or a combination of both.
Taking the advice of her followers, TikTok user @pepperonimuffin even tried to find to figure out the best "healthy Coke" recipe with subtle ingredient swaps over multiple attempts. Her last go around involved using balsamic glaze instead of vinegar to potentially improve the taste, the logic being that the glaze would have a bit more sugar than straight balsamic vinegar. Though a valiant effort to sweeten this bitter beverage, she was not successful.
"Ew! It looks like dirty ocean," @pepperonimuffin exclaims while attempting to stir the balsamic glaze with Pellegrino water and ice.
As @macheesmo says in a TikTok post, "WHY? If you want a Coke, why not just drink a Coke?"
Meanwhile, on the other side of the big brand soda aisle, Pepsi decided to connect with its target demographic by emulating the "dirty soda" TikTok trend in an ad campaign featuring Lindsay Lohan. While tapping into Mean Girls nostalgia is a pretty ingenious marketing on Pepsi's part (and I'm sure many of us have been waiting with bated breath for the LiLohanaissance to finally commence), I'm still at a loss as to why this ad even happened at all. Why ruin a perfectly good soda with milk? In the original Pepsi ad, LiLo is correct to say that pouring all this milk into her soda to make "Pilk" seems "naughty," to say the least. Though this is part-parody created by @theentitledmillennial, you know how the old saying goes—every joke contains a grain of truth.
Similar to food boards, nacho tables also ranked among the top 10 TikTok food trends of 2022 with 415.1 million views, according to CNBC Make It. But at least with a food board there's some semblance of decorum. A nacho table involves covering an entire table with foil, covering it in chips, and dumping nacho toppings like ground beef and queso cheese all over. Again, this just seems like a completely unsanitary mess.
Even when the nachos are color-coordinated based on a festive holiday theme, it's still not enough to compensate for the fact that people are ditching table and flatware in favor of shoveling literal fistfuls of food into their mouths.
If Lindsay Lohan can have a rebirth of her career, can we also rally together for an etiquette Renaissance? This is my hope for us in 2023.