I think you are right! Knorr bought Lipton. It was those Lipton sides that I think tasted better.
I like instant potatoes too, but they are not as good nutritionally as a grain. I tend to end up hungry after potatoes and not with rice(brown) or noodles (Whole wheat) with the same added stuff. Olive oil and cheese are the main fats I add to get more calories. Also, nuts added to a rice dish seem to work better than nuts added to potatoes.
I am a big fan of Nido! Really adds richness to anything because it is full fat. Also, will only do regular oatmeal. Lately I have been using steel cut oats, because they pack down smaller (for a bear can) than the same weight of flake oats. Go look at Trader Joes new stuff- they now have a lot of instant varieties of grains, like barley. They also have red lentil pasta and black bean pasta.