Weird Food Trends Celebrities Made Famous

When it comes to food, celebrities have it made. They can consult the best doctors and nutritionists in the world for advice on their diets. They can afford to hire personal chefs to whip up all of their favorite healthy foods. And they can still get their favorite foods they’re on set, too. So it’s no surprise Hollywood A-listers have started all kinds of food trends.

Many of the diets that doctors wouldn’t follow initially got popular because celebrities started following and talking about them. And celebrities have started all kinds of weird food trends — the type that would probably leave nutritionists and chefs scratching their heads. Curious about which weird food trends your favorite celebrities have started? Read on to find out.

1. Kale

kale

Kale seems like a pretty unlikely candidate for a popular veggie. | iStock.com

Let’s be clear. Kale itself isn’t all that weird. What is weird is the furor over this coveted, leafy green vegetable. MindBodyGreen reports kale is nothing new. In fact, it’s been cultivated for thousands of years around the world. Rumor has it that before 2012, Pizza Hut was the biggest buyer of kale. It didn’t put the veggie on a pizza, Instead, it used it to decorate the salad bar. In 2013, a PR firm took on the task of making kale cool. Celebrity endorsements and mentions by A-listers, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Ellen DeGeneres, played a major role in achieving that goal.

2. Bone broth

chicken broth

A traditional dish of bone broth unexpectedly got super trendy. | iStock.com

Bone broth, or the liquid that remains when animal bones are boiled in water, is a surprisingly trendy beverage that’s made the list of many celebrities’ recommendations for healthy diets. Eater reports dietitians who specialize in the paleo diet assert that boiling the bones releases nutrients and minerals. However, scientists have said the health benefits associated with bone broth have been overblown. Many celebrity adherents of the paleo diet have talked about bone broth. One of the most notable has been athlete Kobe Bryant, who told ESPN, “I’ve been doing the bone broth for a while now. It’s great — energy, inflammation. It’s great.”

3. Butter coffee

steaming mug of coffee in front of a window

Surprisingly, butter coffee went mainstream. | iStock.com

People have apparently been putting butter in their coffee for years. But you probably didn’t hear about the trend until celebrities, such as actress Shailene Woodley, got on board. Jezebel reported a couple years ago that the trend wasn’t new. But several iterations have come into the spotlight. Butter coffee is brewed coffee blended with butter and MCT oil (the fat from coconut or palm kernel oil). Bulletproof coffee is a brand of coffee by entrepreneur Dave Asprey, who reportedly sampled yak butter tea in Tibet. The strange-sounding beverage apparently helps with energy and focus.

4. Kombucha

Jar and glass of kombucha

Kombucha got extremely popular. | iStock.com

Your healthy friends would probably protest if you called kombucha “weird.” But what other term describes the amorphous blob of a bacterial culture that fuels the fermentation of this fizzy, tea-based drink? The Atlantic reports kombucha has been popular in the Far East for thousands of years. But “it wasn’t until 1990s Los Angeles that kombucha became a commercial success in the U.S., fueled first by the AIDS epidemic, and later by a growing interest in probiotics and gut health.” Celebrities, including Madonna, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry, and Gwyneth Paltrow, have endorsed the drink — and helped get it on grocery store shelves near you.

5. Turmeric

turmedic powder in a spoon

The spice turmeric has shown up in all kinds of dishes. | iStock.com/eskaylim

Turmeric, a seasoning often found in Indian cuisines, also exploded in popularity in the U.S. after making a splash in health-conscious and celebrity communities. Hello Magazine reports it ascended to the throne of “celebrity superfood of choice” thanks to curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric that was purported to be one of the most powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. It even made inroads in the form of the “golden milk” turmeric latte. However, according to Time, scientists have determined curcumin offers only limited, if any, health benefits.

6. Coconut water

Coconut Water

Two brands of coconut water made it big in the U.S. | iStock.com

Coconut water is nothing new to people in South America and Southeast Asia. But it’s relatively new in grocery stores in the United States. Slate reports both Vita Coco and Zico launched in 2004, and in their early days they built their success “on the (supple, flexible) backs of yoga-loving women.” The audience expanded to athletes of all types. Alex Rodriguez began promoting Vita Coco. And Kevin Garnett endorsed Zico. From there, celebrities, including Madonna, Demi Moore, and Matthew McConaughey got on board. And eventually, even Rihanna was advertising the drink.

7. Vitamin Water

bottles of Vitamin Water

Vitamin Water gained major popularity. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Slate notes there was already a precedent for the sort of evolution that coconut water underwent. “Vitamin Water has already made the multi-step transition from a specialty beverage for health nuts and celebrities to a general, mass-market sports drink, to something office workers quaff during their sedentary lunch breaks,” Slate says. In fact, Zico partnered with Big Geyser, the same distributor that helped establish Vitamin Water as a grocery store staple. Several athletes and celebrities endorsed the product. That helped it become a fixture in vending machines and grocery stores across the U.S.

8. Spiralized vegetables

freshly picked homegrown garden vegetables

Spiralized vegetables got surprisingly popular. | iStock.com/ jdwfoto

Kale isn’t the only vegetable that became inexplicably popular after appearing in the Instagram feeds of A-listers. Vegetarian celebrities and those on gluten-free or low-carb diets jumped on board with the idea of replacing traditional spaghetti with fresh veggies turned into noodle-like ribbons. Bon Appétit notes spiralizing makes for a sneaky way to eat more vegetables. But sneaking in vegetables is probably not a priority when you’re cooking for anybody over the age of 8. And even though there’s a book that implies you can spiralize everything, you probably shouldn’t.

9. POM Wonderful

pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice became an extremely trendy beverage. | iStock.com

Sometimes, the perfect way to get A-listers on board with a new food (or beverage) trend is to show them how healthy it is. Chowhound reports the popularity of pomegranate juice, as illustrated by the rise of POM Wonderful, came about because the company behind the juice spent millions not on advertising but on “funding scientific studies on the healthful properties of pomegranates.” Unlike many other products endorsed by yoga-loving celebrities, POM Wonderful isn’t organic. Plus, the juice is flash-pasteurized, which means its vitamin C is destroyed. But that didn’t stop the marketing from working among celebrities and regular Americans alike.

10. Wonderful Pistachios

Pistachios

Pistachios got their moment in the spotlight. | iStock.com

Another product from the same company behind POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios traded on what Esquire characterizes as a lineup of “B- and C-list celebrities in order to get the message out about the little green nut.” A series of commercials released to promote the nuts starred “Dennis Rodman, PSY, Keyboard Cat, Honey Badger, and the Prancersize Lady. So, basically, everything that was popular on YouTube two years ago.” The brand has continued leaning on star power to sell pistachios, even having John Cena voice the animated character Ernie the elephant.

11. Master cleanse

The master cleanse got extremely popular. | iStock.com

This food trend is so strongly associated with a single celebrity that its alternate name, the Beyoncé Diet, gives away its origins in the popular consciousness. According to NY Magazine, the singer turned to the master cleanse to lose weight for Dreamgirls. Talking about it afterward, she put it on the map for people looking for celebrity dieting advice. According to the magazine, the master cleanse “involves drinking only lemonade made out of cayenne pepper, lemons, and grade B maple syrup (do NOT get grade A, in the Lord’s name) nine times a day. You can’t eat food.” The diet, if you can really call it that, “was all the rage in 2006 because of Beyoncé.”

12. Food in the shower

bathroom

A final wacky food trend? Eating (or drinking) in the shower. | iStock.com

This might not be a specific food item, but it certainly started a trend. Jessica Biel revealed she eats in the shower via an Instagram post she captioned, “Eating in the shower…we all do that…right? #ShowerEats.” She later told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show that “this is just mom life.” And Biel did have some advice on what kinds of foods are suitable for consumption in the shower. Espresso and sausage? Definitely. A sandwich? Not so much. And if you prefer a buzz rather than a morning jolt, try the beer that’s made specifically for sipping in the shower.