Mandatory Best of 2019: Ranking the Most Popular Trending Food Stories of the Year
Even though it seems like we were just raising our glasses in celebration of 2019, the year is over and it’s on to 2020. Even though it seems like 2019 went by in the blink of an eye, there were enough news stories to make it seem like a decade instead of just 365 days — including a bumper crop of unique, quirky, and downright strange food stories. In order to bid 2019 farewell the right way, we’ve ranked our favorite trending food stories of the year. From popular sandwiches to (sort of) edible Tide Pods, this was definitely a culinary cavalcade to remember.
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8. Whisky Company Releases 'Tide Pods'
Back in October, famed Scotch distiller Glenlivet released a video that touted what appeared to be “Tide Pods” full of whisky. Of course, we scrambled to get our hands on them. Sadly, they were only available for a limited time at one cocktail bar in London. Still, they were unique enough to make our list.
7. It’s Impossible How Popular Meatless Burgers Are
In the war of meatless burgers that are supposed to look and taste like beef, the Impossible Burger seems to reign supreme. But there are others, including the Beyond Burger, and these beef-free patties dominated food news this year.
Photo: Impossible Foods
6. Pizza Hut Teams Up With Cheez-It
One of the strangest food stories of 2019 was the uncomfortable combination of two of our favorite foods: Cheez-It crackers and Pizza Hut pizza. The result was a soggy, cheesy mess. Still, we wanted to try this limited-edition item, but decided to just eat a salad instead.
Photo: Pizza Hut
5. Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich Sparks Insanity
There hasn’t been as much fanaticism (and violence) surrounding a food item like Popeye's Chicken Sandwich since the cronut took New York City by storm back in 2013.
4. The Taco Bell Hotel Opens For Business
2019 saw the opening of a limited edition Taco Bell Hotel in Palm Springs. The company created the pop-up hotel for influencers who enjoy falling asleep the to soothing scent of spicy ground beef.
Photo: Taco Bell
3. Eco-Friendly Packaging Is In
Say goodbye to your plastic straws, Styrofoam take-out containers, and plastic bags. Eco-friendly is in. We’re tired of straws getting stuck in sea turtles’ noses and we’d rather not live on a mountain of garbage. But we still want Chipotle to go.
Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin (Getty Images)
2. Cannabis and CBD-Based Drinks Dominate the Beverage Market
It seems like everywhere we look, there’s a new cannabis or CBD water, juice, or tonic. While still not accepted by everyone, it seems that cannabis and CBD-based products are here to stay as was evident by the press they received in 2019.
Photo: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)
1. Papa John’s Erases 'Papa John'
The pizza chain's split from founder John Schnatter hasn’t been pretty. Over the course of 2019, the brand has replaced Schnatter (despite his desperate publicity stunt of eating 40 pizzas in 30 days) with a former Arby’s CEO and made Shaquille O’Neal the new face of the brand.
Photo: Prince Williams (Getty Images)