What is an ‘ingredient household’? TikTok phrase for snackless homes goes viral

A viral TikTok trend has people reliving their snackless childhoods with the invention of a new term, called “ingredient household”.

The phrase refers to a household where there is no ready-to-eat food, but rather ingredients used in larger dishes. Instead of opening a bag of chips after school, all that’s stored in these ingredient-only households are small items such as chocolate chips, croutons, or peanut butter.

The hashtag #ingredienthousehold, which rose to popularity on TikTok earlier this month, has since gained 44.5m views on the app. Now, internet users are sharing their humorous experiences scavenging for snacks in an ingredient household.

Some of the most viral videos on TikTok include one from user Riley Leach, who posted a video showing what she and her sisters used to eat in an ingredient only household: microwave nachos made using shredded cheese, marshmallows, a spoonful of peanut butter, and butter spread on a single saltine cracker.

“I could probably do a part two honestly,” she captioned the post.

“Just learned I grew up in an ingredient household,” said someone else after viewing Leach’s video.

“I STILL eat microwave nachos but I use Doritos and sour cream now because I’m an adult

“I’ve never felt so seen,” one user wrote.

Another TikToker shared some of their favourite snacks growing up in an ingredient household, including uncooked flour tortillas straight out of the package, green olives, and a bag of bacon bits.

“Croutons, cashews, literal pieces of bread, frozen blueberries and Cheerios,” added one person, while another user realised: “I feel like this is why I don’t know what kind of snacks to keep in my house now.”

Of course, many people have pointed out that ingredient-only households may exist due to economic reasons. An ingredient household can indicate that someone in the home has time to prepare food, or rather cannot afford to spend money on snacks.

“I think we were an ingredient household because we were poor,” commented one person.

Meanwhile, TikToker user Alayna hypothesises that those who grew up in ingredient-only households had parents who were on a diet. “And the reason I say this is because I strictly remember my mom being like, ‘We can’t keep snacks in the house because we’ve got to do better.’”

Unsurprisingly, a related TikTok trend has surfaced in response to ingredient only households, called “non-ingredient households,” in which people show the snacks they had stocked in their kitchens.

This is not the only TikTok trend to rise to popularity in recent months. Throughout December, many singles have been sharing their dating highs and lows with a new trend called “Dating Wrapped,” in reference to Spotify’s annual listening summary, Spotify Wrapped.

The TikTok trend has people making homemade presentations to show all the facts and figures from their sex and dating lives throughout the year, including how many first dates they went on, where they met their dates, what kind of activities they did on the date and how many dates they went on with one individual.

Find out which trends went the most viral in 2022 with the platform’s “Year in TikTok” roundup here.