Has anyone been to the supermarket recently? Did you see a gondola end stacked with powdered potato? No you didn't because powdered potato, while it makes pretty good mash, is nowhere in the modern cookery lexicon. It's brief spell in the sun came in the 1970s, before fading from popular consciousness, presumably now forever. The product itself is not bad.
In fact recently on the wife and my big cycle trip we ate quite a lot of it. It is cheap, relatively calorific (a good thing) and easy to transport dry. Ideal for cycle touring. Aside from that however, it is also very good at making a tasty mashed potato product, almost indistinguishable from that made fresh. I just checked with the Mrs and she backed me up, saying “I could tell, but I wouldn't grumble [if I ate it again].”
So why, dear reader has this happened? Now I am not going to tell you that the actions of the entire population of the UK over the last 30 years in eschewing freeze dried potato are down to John Webster (peace be upon him) and his magnum opus “Smash Martians”, but it could be argued that it mis-read the attitude of the time, which had negative long term implications for the fortunes of the brand .
My humble assertion is that maybe the aliens had excessive focus on the space age features of the food, doubtless inspired by the recent moon shot, misjudged the opportunity to become a meme with the potential for long term relevance and life.
Of course as an account man, and an enemy of all Good Work, that is what I would say. However the end result is still fairly conclusive. Once the ads stopped running priming people to sales, what was left with the brand focused too much on a cold, hard, technological focus on the process of creating Smash, rather than the earthy smell of the soil and the life giving goodness of the potato. The brand has disappeared into irrelevance as a consequence.