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Delve into the fascinating stories behind our ready-prepared dishes, from old favourites to exciting new additions

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1973: In the bag

Foil-packed meals including ravioli in cheese and ham sauce were trialled. The aluminium pouches kept food fresh and were cooked in a pan of boiling water, so, as was stated on the packaging, there was, ‘One less pan to wash!’.

1970s boil in the bag ravioli

1975: A taste of India

International dishes were added to our frozen food range, including a selection of curry-house classics, from lamb rogan josh to pork vindaloo, developed with the help of Indian cookery expert Kailash Puri.

1970s advert for M&S Indian range

1975: Buon appetito

Reflecting the UK’s growing appetite for European travel, we introduced classic Italian dishes, such as lasagne, to our selection of frozen, heat-to-eat meals. It’s still a favourite to this day.

1970s M&S lasagne packaging

1979: Still a favourite

This year saw the launch of our chicken kiev, with its oozy, garlic-spiked butter filling. The product became an instant best-seller, and remains one of our most popular dishes.

Retro M&S chicken kiev packaging

1985: All about convenience

As people’s lives became busier, our range of prepared meals expanded. There were new dishes including vegetarian moussaka and lasagne, while we also launched microwavable meals, such as eggs Florentine.

Retro M&S pilau rice packaging

1985: Count the calories

The Eighties also saw the rise of healthy eating, and the launch of our first calorie-counted microwavable meals. The dishes, all under 300 calories, included chicken pizzaiola with noodles and fish lasagne.

Retro M&S calorie counted meals packaging

2000: A healthy balance

The turn of the millennium was when we released our Count on Us meals, which were low in calories, fat and sugar. Health-conscious diners could choose from sweet and sour chicken, ham and mushroom pizza and risotto.

Count on Us risotto original packaging

2012: A good egg

In a feat of technical wizardry from our food product developers, we created runny-in-the-middle Scotch eggs, with their crisp coating, meaty filling and perfect golden yolk centre, for our popular Gastropub range.

Runny Scotch eggs

2014: A world of flavours

Our new global range, Taste, was launched, with 44 dishes from four cuisines: Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese. It introduced customers to some exciting new flavours.

M&S Taste Mexico steak burritos

2018: No stopping us now…

Customers are spoiled for choice with our delicious, freshly prepared meals, developed by our chefs who travel the world in search of authentic flavours, like those in this lip-numbingly spicy chicken rendang.

M&S chicken rendang in a bowl with lime wedges and coriander



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Editor: Heather Taylor / Photographer (chicken rendang): Danielle Wood



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