Cadbury’s launched their instant mashed potato granules in the 1960s. As can be seen from the instructions on the tin, the required weight of dried potato is placed in a container, to which is added boiling water, then whisked to produce hot mashed potato quickly and easily. Butter can be added to add to the flavour.

The award-winning advertising campaign launched in 1974 was hugely successful and popular. It featured puppet Smash Martians viewing earthlings laboriously peeling, boiling and mashing potatoes, rather than using Smash granules. The  jingle ‘For Mash get Smash’ was both catchy and memorable. The message was that the traditional method of making mash was outdated. People were not insulted by being seen as ‘primitive’ and enjoyed the humour. As a result sales soared and the advertising campaign continued many years. The ‘Martians’ received so much fan mail that specially designed stationery was introduced for replies.

Smash is now marketed under the Batchelor’s brand. The old tin illustrated contained 13oz or 368g of potato. Currently Smash is available in 280g tins, 176g and 2kg packets. It is difficult to date this particular tin. It was marketed by Cadbury Typhoo. Looking at the history of that company, the fact that the weight on the tin was shown both in ounces and grams and it had three new pence off, suggests the product was made in the mid 1970s.

The current ingredients on a packet of Smash are Dehydrated Potato (98%), Salt, Emulsifier (Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids), Antioxidants (Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Metabisulphite (Sulphites)), Flavouring.  The biggest difference to those shown on the featured tin is the omission of dried milk.

Tesco website states that to make one serving of mash add 150ml (approx. 1/4 pint) of boiling water to 30g of Smash and mix with a fork. It recommends adding butter or milk, salt and pepper.



Key theme(s):


More information:

Date 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
Material(s) CardboardPlastic
Item number MBPO242

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • How frequently have you used Smash?
  • Do you have Smash in your store cupboard?
  • Does Smash taste as good as traditional mashed potato? Can you tell the difference?
  • Did you enjoy the Smash TV adverts? Did they influence you to buy Smash?
  • Have you tried using Smash to thicken liquids?

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Here is a picture of one of the Smash Martians

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