But pre-packed meals were only half of the equation. What really made the Buck Rogers school of food take off was the microwave oven. Now you not only had the meal, you didn't even have to hang about while it heated up. Just stick it in the box, push a button, and let the electrons do the work in seconds.
This wasn't cooking, it was nuking and it worked so well that the automatic kitchen so often predicted became redundant.
Why build a machine to cook for you when you can buy your dinner ready made and zap it in thirty seconds?