We all know that food trends come and go. What was cool and hip yesterday can easily become tired and passé tomorrow. But did you know that your opinions on certain food fads can reveal a lot about your age?
We think we can accurately determine your generation based solely on whether you love or hate things like avocado toast, unicorn foods, and Moscow mules. Read on as we explore 10 major food trends and how your feelings about them expose the number of candles likely on your last birthday cake!
Avocado Toast Craze
Back in 2016-2017, you couldn’t step foot in a café without seeing avocado toast dominating the menu. This now-iconic food trend combined fresh avocado, toasted bread, olive oil, spices, and fun toppings for a simple yet totally Instagrammable brunch. But not everyone was onboard the avo-toast train.
If you still find yourself dreaming about and ‘gramming avocado toast whenever you get the chance, you’re likely part of the younger Millennial set under 30. Hipsters in their 20s absolutely drove the obsessive avocado toast craze and still can’t get enough of it. They’ll happily pay $10-15 for this fresh and healthy meal full of “good fats.”
In contrast, older generations may have looked at the millennial avo-toast obsession with confusion. Avocados and bread? Is that all you’re eating for breakfast or lunch?! Many Gen Xers and Baby Boomers didn’t understand the appeal and balked at the price or thought it seemed like an odd food combo. If you’re over 40 and never had the desire to try smashed avo on artisan sourdough, well, we had a hunch you were older!
Unicorn Foods Fad
For about two years, brightly colored unicorn foods were everywhere you looked on social media and real life. Vibrant purple, blue, pink, and rainbow unicorns dominated donuts, cakes, lattes, yogurt, pizza, pasta, butter, salad dressing – you name it! This colorful, mythical food trend captured major attention between 2016-2018.
But unicorn foods were decidedly geared toward younger generations like Gen Z and Millennials. The funky colors, sweet flavors, and picture-perfect aesthetic appealed straight to their youthful tastes. Younger folks gobbled up anything unicorn they could get their hands on and showcased it proudly online.
Meanwhile, older generations were majorly confused what all the unicorn fuss was about. They didn’t understand why anyone would want such artificially colored, sugary, or downright odd-tasting foods just for a pretty Insta pic. Many Boomers and Gen Xers dismissed unicorn foods as strange, tacky, or downright gross. So if you proudly rocked a unicorn frappuccino or latte back in the day, you’re probably under 30!
Cold Brew Coffee Obsession
Within the last 5-10 years, a major obsession with cold brew coffee has taken hold, especially among young Millennials. This refreshing, mellow iced coffee promises more caffeine and less acidity than traditional hot coffee. It became super trendy to get your daily caffeine fix from a cold brew drink topped with everything from milk foam to flavored swirls.
Young people drove this obsession by flocking to third wave coffee shops for their craft cold brew elixirs daily. Millennials age 25-35 in particular simply can’t get enough cold brew in their lives. You’ll catch them nearly any time of year clutching 48 oz growlers of the stuff. Even Starbucks eventually started offering cold brew flavors to keep up with demand.
Meanwhile, older folks still don’t really understand the big cold brew deal. Many Boomers or Gen Xers stick loyally to their regular hot coffee or simple iced coffee if it’s warm outside. They don’t get why youngins obsess so hard over some strange slow-dripped concoction. So if you still find yourself seeking out cold brew despite plunging temperatures, you’re likely under 40.
Moscow Mule Madness
Within the past decade, Moscow mules have become wildly popular, especially with younger crowds seeking the perfect drink for the ‘gram. These trendy copper mugs filled with refreshing vodka, ginger beer, lime juice and bitters make for very photogenic barware. People obsessively snap and share pics of the signature copper mug glowing in dim-lit hipster bars.
Millennials especially drive Moscow mule mania whenever they go out drinking. People under 35 order mule after mule, snapping glam shots and bonding over the drinks’ refreshing tangy zing. To them, Moscow mules feel exciting and sophisticated compared to say, rum and cokes.
Older generations like Gen Xers or Boomers don’t always dig the Moscow mule trend, however. They find it pretentious and just don’t like the strong ginger taste. These no-nonsense folks happily stick to their usual whiskey, beers, or wines when going out, not some trendy ginger concoction. So if Moscow mules are still your go-to bar order, you can’t blame us for guessing you’re likely under 40!
Activated Charcoal in Everything
Within the last 3-5 years, a wellness trend emerged adding activated charcoal to everything from ice cream to lemonade to pizza crust! This edible form of carbon is hailed for detoxifying properties. So young health-conscious folks started seeking it out in crazy charcoal-hued treats.
Millennials drove this odd charcoal trend by flooding their Instagram feeds with shocking black-colored foods. To them it felt fun, healthy, and almost daring to eat jet black ice cream or drink inky lemonade. They couldn’t resist trying charcoal products or showing them off online.
But older generations like Gen Xers and Boomers shake their heads at the bizarre activated charcoal fad. They don’t understand why anyone would want burnt-looking, potentially toxic ingredients in their food or drinks. And they certainly aren’t running to try black colored sweets like millennials. If you still happily eat activated charcoal goods, you’re likely under 35!
Açaí Bowls Are Everywhere
Within the last 5 years or so, açaí superfruit bowls have become all the rage, especially with young healthy eaters. These deep purple bowls filled with antioxidant-rich açaí berries, granola, nuts, seeds, and fruit make for a supremely photogenic and nutritious meal.
Health-conscious millennials line up eagerly at juice bars to get their hands on açaí bowls, then gram away. To them it feels exciting and trendy to dig into these colorful superfood meals. And they actually enjoy the taste too compared to older folks.
Gen Xers, Boomers and up often just don’t “get” the hype around açaí at all. It tastes too earthy or bitter to them and seems like way too much work for a bowl of fruit. They’d much rather just eat a banana or granola bar for a sensible meal. So if you’re still waiting in long lines for açaí bowls in 2023, we’re betting you’re likely a millennial under 35.
Sriracha on All the Things
About 10 years ago, a fiery red bottle of sriracha hot sauce became the unofficial condiment of millennials everywhere. Young spice lovers started drizzling this garlic-chili sauce over everything from pizza to tacos to pasta, adding a lip-tingling kick to ordinary foods.
To this day, millennials still can’t resist slapping sriracha onto whatever they eat. To them it’s the perfect way to make boring food more exciting with some spicy zing. Sriracha t-shirts, keychains, and even costumes also remain popular gifts among twenty and thirtysomethings who just can’t get enough.
Meanwhile older folks may have viewed the sriracha craze with confusion, warnings of heartburn, or funny looks. They deemed it way too spicy and overwhelming for most normal food. Some even struggled to pronounce it correctly, defaulting to “siracha” or “saracha.” So if you still have at least one bottle of rooster sauce