In some countries like Singapore, 7-Elevens now have Maggi instant mashed potato machines, which according to this video dispense potato powder, hot water and diluted gravy into a little yellow cup. As depicted in the image below, it’s sold along with a Big Gulp as a $2 value meal.
As someone who’s unusually open minded when it comes to questionable fast foods, I think I’ve met my limit with this instant potato-soda meal, which appears to be embedded in a virtual arcade of other such meal machines. It’s not the carb-upon-carb-upon-gravy issue—that’s kind of moot at 7-Eleven. It’s more that mashed potatoes with gravy aren’t pure junk foods that deserve to be messed with like Fritos or hot dogs; they’re bear hugs from god. Turning them into machine sludge is disrespectful, not only to the person eating it, but to the potato, the potato farmer, the potato farmer’s father, and the entire country of Ireland, all the way to the top.
If Maggi had to make machine-delivered mashed potatoes (and I understand the urge), they should do it like Let’s Pizza, the pizza vending machine, where inner gears and ovens cook and assemble the meal from scratch as soon as you order it. It might take a few minutes (and go against everything 7-Eleven holds dear), but they could definitely charge more than $2.