The Most Popular American Food Trends From The Past 40 Years

Just like clothes, different foods have certain time periods when they trend. This has been happening for centuries where certain foods will become relevant due to the changing tastes of popular culture. There are also several economic, social, and geographic influences as well.

Some foods from the early 20th century are almost obsolete, while others have remained part of a staple American diet. Each decade has significant food trends and these are the most memorable from the past 40 years.

As you’ll soon discover, one flavor took the 90s by storm.

Don’t Forget to Bring the Tri-Color Pasta Salad to the Barbecue

a man stirring a bowl of tri-color pasta tortellini
Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Barbecues in the 1980s wouldn’t have been complete without a tri-color pasta salad. The white, orange, and green noodles were usually prepared with bottled Italian dressing, canned black olives, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and some mozzarella balls.

The 80s introduced people to a wide variety of new artificially-flavored junk food because of the increase in consumerism, but new recipes were also making their way onto American’s plates. Even though this dish was widely popular almost 40 years ago, it can still be found in the deli section of numerous grocery stores.