Decades of deliciousness - Macphie

2023 is an extra special year for us, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary at Glenbervie. To celebrate, we are taking a look at the food trends which have been present in each decade since the 1970s.

Although tastes have changed over time, Macphie has been there through it all. We have got all the key ingredients for you to treat your customers to nostalgic foods from years gone by.

Nostalgia plays a massive part in food consumption. Taste and smells bring back a whole host of good memories, and consumers will have a strong emotional reaction. The person you are now is different to the person you were when you had your first bite of your favourite dish from the past, and that has a lasting impact on you. Furthermore, with the UK facing times of uncertainty amid the cost of living crisis, consumers are seeking comfort foods, with many turning to foods from their childhood when life seemed stress free and easy. Based on this, it is important to consider adding nostalgic items to your menu.

As Macphie moved to Glenbervie in 1973, we are starting our look back at each decade with the 70s.


1970s – The decade of the dinner party

Known as “the era of the showboat dinner party”, the 70s saw Brits go above and beyond to create standout, fascinating food creations to show off to friends and family.

One of the most popular dessert choices during this time was the black forest gateaux. The gateaux was invented in the Black Forest region of Germany by the famous confectioner Josef Keller back in 1915. By the 1940s, Keller’s recipe began to circulate around Germany, and it wasn’t long until the rest of Europe began enjoying the wonderful cake as well.

Its combination of sour kirsch cherries, sweet cream and rich chocolate made it unique from other desserts at the time, and it became a ubiquitous staple on UK restaurant menus during the 70s.

In recent years, the black forest gateaux has been revived. Some have kept the traditional look and flavours, whilst others have used the classic as inspiration, like this black forest patisserie.

Fondue was another popular hit at 70s dinner parties. Typically filled with cheese, a fondue pot is ideal for sharing with friends and family. Here’s our baked chorizo fondue, inspired by the traditional dish.

And remember cod in white sauce in a bag? Well here’s our take on it today.

Take your customers on a trip down memory lane by creating these 70s classics on your next specials menu, or even try a themed menu night.


1980s – Big hair, good music and fascinating foods

Despite being a decade most well-known for its music and fashion, the 80s also highlighted some exquisite dishes.

Vol-au-vents were one of the UK’s favourites during this period. The small pastry canapes originated in Paris during the 18th century, and became a staple part of British cuisine, especially at dinner parties, during the 1980s.

Typically, the vol-au-vent is filled with either a chicken or a fish-based sauce. By combining Macphie Béchamel with Butter Sauce with chicken and puff pastry, you can pull together the classic pastry meal. Find our recipe here.

But don’t just restrict your flavour to the 80s – try a modern variation such as wild mushroom, spinach and goat’s cheese or brie and cranberry. You can also tap into the supersized trend and make these as a meal rather than just a canape.

There was also a Mexican wave throughout Britain in the 80s as enchiladas, quesadillas and fajitas started appearing on restaurant menus. The demand for Mexican food has continued to rise, and is as popular today as it has ever been before. Add a bit of spice to your menu by introducing Mexican churros with chocolate and chilli sauce or enchiladas.

Remember “quickety quick Micro Chips?”. The McCain’s TV advert was a classic during this decade, when microwave chips first appeared in supermarkets. Although revamped in 2016 to ‘Quick Chips’, they are still just as tasty today as they were in the eighties. Why not use Micro Chips as inspiration for a side on your menu, by creating these loaded fries topped with Macphie Nacho Cheese Sauce.


1990s – Slow internet but quick dishes

These days we can read about restaurant and bakery openings on our smart phones and tablets lying in bed before we start our days. So, it is hard to believe that the world wide web was opened to the public in 1991! Yes, really there was no internet before then, or smartphones (only pagers if you were really important!).

It was at the beginning of the 90s that gastropubs began opening in the UK. The establishments aimed to improve the social environment in classic drinking pubs, and attract a wider demographic, by serving restaurant quality food.

Gastropubs kept the traditional pub atmosphere, by staying informal and keeping prices reasonable, but it was the quality of food that lured a more upscale clientele.

Traditional meals such as fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and steak pie were all sold in gastropubs. But one of the most popular meals was lamb shank. The succulent meat dished up with creamy mashed potato and flavourful gravy left all consumers satisfied.

Find the recipe here to make your own gastropub inspired Sunday dinner.

It was not only the internet that allowed increased access to different cuisines and cultures in a way that TV had done before it, but the Eurostar opening in 1994 further enhanced the ability to experience new dishes and flavours (and change the aroma of the carriage when bringing back cheese that was not like cheddar!).

If you were a 90s kid, you probably had your fair share of pizza pockets for lunch. The convenient snack was a parent’s dream, as they were not only quick and easy to make, but they were also tasty. Looking for a modern version of hot pockets? Then look no further! Our meatball calzone is a brilliant modern-day take on the 90s favourite. And these pizza swirls are a finger-licking grab-and-go interpretation.


2000s – Celebrating the millennium with loaded cupcakes

As we welcomed in the new millennium, we also kicked off a new decade of food trends.

One product which boomed in the noughties were loaded cupcakes. Although cupcakes had been around for years, loaded, frosted cupcake sales soared, primarily due to the TV series Sex and the City. Actor Sarah Jessica Parker often visited Manhattan’s Magnolia Bakery on the show and treated themselves to cupcakes. Since the programme aired on TV, cupcakes began appearing everywhere, and it led to cake stores opening all across the globe.

Nearly two decades later and they are still just as popular! It has been reported that in the UK, 44,000,000 cupcakes are consumed on a yearly basis. There is even a National Cupcake Week in September.

Continued success is all down to creativity. Bakers experimenting with unique flavours and looks ensure that classic mixes are kept exciting, demandable, and suitable for every occasion.

By combining Macphie Mississippi Muffin & Cake Mix with Macphie Rainbow Frosting, you can create your very own loaded cupcakes, fit for any celebration. Our Rainbow Frosting range comes in a variety of flavours and you can add your own flair to the vanilla which loves the addition of colours and flavours.


2010s – Avocado on toast (and everything else!)

In the last decade, there has been a healthy eating revolution. Consumers are opting for healthy foods over sugary treats. This shift has been primarily due to consumer values changing and greater awareness of nutrition. The trend can also be associated with social media, particularly influencer marketing.

With the clean eating diet becoming increasingly mainstream, restaurants and supermarkets began introducing more vegan options on menus, and vegan alternatives were created, such as our very own vegan-certified range.

Ever since actor and lifestyle enthusiast Gwyneth Paltrow included ‘avocado on toast’ as one of the key recipes in her cookbook ‘It’s All Good’, the UK has become avocado obsessed. Avocado soft toys, avocado hats, avocado candles – you name it, they’ve done it!

Their versatility makes them the ideal replacement for meat to satisfy vegetarians and vegans, and additionally they are classed as a superfood as they’re packed full of fibre, vitamins, and nutrients, making them the perfect food for the healthy, clean eating generation.

These days, there are many unique recipes which include the addition of avocado, including the likes of avocado carbonara, avocado curry, and even avocado wedges, which work as an ideal side. Why not avo-go at making them yourself – but don’t forget Macphie Plant-based Taco Sauce for dipping!

Some food trends come and go, but others never go out of fashion. Whether it is nostalgic nosh or a first-time experience, we have all the ideas and ingredients to allow you to cater for your customers, no matter what occasion they are celebrating.

For more inspiration, head over to our celebrations are in order recipe page.