17 Classic American Foods That Are Losing Their Popularity

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By Darryl Henderson

Different foods have been popular at different points in time. Some of the once well-loved classics are now a distant memory for various reasons, such as health considerations and shifts in taste. Here are 17 classic American foods that are losing their popularity.

Canned Tuna

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Canned tuna sales have declined due to concerns about sustainability, the presence of mercury in canned foods, and overfishing. According to The Guardian, overfishing may drive tuna to extinction, so there has been a shift towards purchasing fresher seafood and plant-based alternatives. 

Bologna Sandwiches

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Bologna sandwiches were a favorite in the U.S., but people are starting to avoid processed meats due to the increased risk of developing numerous health issues. The New York Times says that regular consumption of processed meats can lead to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Fruit Cocktail

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The classic fruit cocktail isn’t as healthy as people once thought. This treat is packed with sugar, syrupy additives, and artificial ingredients – leading people to opt for fresh fruit and whole foods instead of canned varieties. 

Ambrosia Salad

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The nostalgic Ambrosia salad has lost its appeal today. According to Times News, it first came about in the late 1800s. It was once associated with potlucks and family gatherings, but now people are starting to prefer fresh fruit and lighter desserts over canned and creamy offerings.

Salisbury Steak

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Salisbury steak was often a companion to a traditional TV dinner and could be found in many workplace canteens. However, tastes are shifting towards less-processed foods, and consumers are beginning to favor natural, locally sourced meats. 

Deviled Eggs

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If you ever went to a social gathering in the past, you probably encountered deviled eggs. These tasty snacks were a staple at parties, but health concerns over the high fat content of the mayonnaise have caused many people to choose lighter, more diverse appetizers for their guests.


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According to Britannica, spam was introduced in 1937 and is a trademarked meat mainly consisting of ground pork and ham. Declining sales of spam have come from health and environmental concerns over processed high-sodium foods. Modern diets include fresher, plant-based protein sources.

Rice Pudding

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Rice pudding may have been a household favorite with older generations, but it doesn’t really appeal to younger generations. It’s seen as a boring, outdated dessert, and it also has competition from a much wider variety of dessert options these days.

Baked Beans

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The rise of international cuisine and the appearance of healthier alternatives like lentils and quinoa have led to a marked decrease in baked beans sales. The associations with backyard barbecues are diminishing, too, and there are much tastier options available.


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Meatloaf is linked to high-calorie, high-fat meals that are no longer in favor. People are starting to move towards lower-fat, plant-based proteins that have better nutritional value, leaving meatloaf as a relic of 20th-century home cooking.

Waldorf Salad

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Waldorf salad is now considered an outdated dish from mid-20th-century dinner parties. Many see it as overly rich due to the mayonnaise and heavy ingredients. Modern preferences lean towards simpler, fresher salads such as the house salad or Greek salad. 

Corned Beef Hash

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This dish was a common offering on the breakfast menus of classic American diners. However, it’s high in both sodium and fat – which means many consumers are starting to prefer lighter, more nutritious breakfast options that are in line with modern dietary trends. 

Jell-O Molds

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Jell-O Molds are a retro party dish that has limited appeal nowadays. Because of the artificial colors and flavors, people are opting for natural, less-processed desserts for their kids’ birthday parties.

Ham and Pineapple Pizza

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This controversial pizza has lost popularity among pizza enthusiasts due to tastes shifting towards gourmet and artisan pizzas with more exotic toppings. Not everyone appreciates the mix of sweet and savory in a traditional dish. 

Chicken à la King

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This meal is linked to the outdated banquet and cafeteria-style meals. Its popularity has significantly declined as modern trends prefer fresher and lighter chicken recipes instead of creamy, rich dishes like this that are heavy on the stomach.

Cheese Balls

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Once a delicious snack and a must-have at parties of the 1970s and 1980s, cheese balls have started to drop in popularity in recent years. People are choosing more varied and sophisticated appetizers, with concerns rising over the health impacts of processed cheese and unhealthy ingredients.

Tater Tot Casserole

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Tater tot casserole was popular back in the day, but now it’s seen as overly processed and high in calories. People prefer homemade, fresher ingredients over frozen dishes, with a shift towards healthier side dishes in family meals.