When Did Pesto Become Popular In The UK?

Supermarket aisle

Short answer
It was the launch of the UK’s first mass produced pesto in 1991 when pesto’s popularity really started to surge.

Long answer
With ingredients and sauces from the world’s great cuisines now easily available from supermarkets, it’s strange to think that it wasn’t that long ago that most Brits had never heard of pesto, let alone eaten it.

Of course, Italian restaurants have always had pesto on their menus - but even Frank Sinatra's glowing endorsement of silk handkerchiefs with pesto wasn't enough to catapult it into the mainstream. In fact, it wasn't until Sacla’s mass produced, cheap pesto arrived on supermarket shelves in 1991 that its popularity really started to grow.

It was several years before shoppers could choose from a variety of different types of pesto, but with food retailers now stocking huge ranges, the sauce is ubiquitous and shows no signs of going anywhere soon.