Betty Crocker

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Betty Crocker logo used until 2003
A box of Fudge Brownie mix

Betty Crocker is a brand name and trademark of American Fortune 500 corporation General Mills. The name was first developed by the Washburn Crosby Company in 1921 as a way to give a personalized response to consumer product questions. The name Betty was selected because it was viewed as a cheery, all-American name. It was paired with the last name Crocker, in honor of William Crocker, a Washburn Crosby Company director.


Marjorie Husted was the creator of Betty Crocker. She was a home economist and businesswoman under whose supervision the image of Betty Crocker became an icon for General Mills. In 1921, Washburn Crosby merged with five or more other milling companies to form General Mills.

In 1924, Betty acquired a voice with the debut of “The Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air” on one station in Minneapolis. It was the country’s first radio cooking show, and Agnes White was selected to portray Betty Crocker. The show proved popular, and eventually was carried nationally on NBC Radio, with Agnes as Betty. Over the next two decades, Agnes would anonymously portray Betty Crocker on the air and at cooking schools.[1]

In 1929, Betty Crocker coupons were introduced. Inserted in bags of flour, they could be used to reduce the cost of Oneida Limited flatware. By 1932, this scheme had become so popular that General Mills began to offer an entire set of flatware; the pattern was called "Friendship" (later renamed "Medality"). In 1937 the coupons were printed on the outside of packages, copy on which told purchasers to "save and redeem for big savings on fine kitchen and home accessories in our catalog".

Cookbook publications[edit]

From 1930, General Mills issued softbound recipe books, including in 1933 Betty Crocker's 101 Delicious Bisquick Creations, As Made and Served by Well-Known Gracious Hostesses, Famous Chefs, Distinguished Epicures and Smart Luminaries of Movieland.[citation needed]

1941-1945: Betty Crocker Cook Book of All-Purpose Baking. (published as an aid to war-time considerations in cooking).[2]

In 1945, Fortune magazine named Betty Crocker the second most popular American woman; Eleanor Roosevelt was named first.[citation needed]

In 1949, Granger Crocker sent a post card to J. W. Schucak about Betty being crowned "best cook" in her town.[citation needed]


In 1949, actress Adelaide Hawley Cumming became Betty Crocker for many years. She appeared for several years on the Burns and Allen Show, and even had her own TV show. She also appeared in the CBS network's first color commercial, in which she baked a "mystery fruit cake". Hawley continued to portray Betty Crocker until 1964.[citation needed]

In 1950, the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook was published. It was written by Agnes White Tizard, a nutritionist and a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority.[3]

A portrait of Betty Crocker first appeared in 1936. It subtly changed over the years, but always accommodated General Mills' cultural perception of the American homemaker: knowledgeable and caring. The current image of Betty Crocker, according to the corporation, is actually a combination of 75 real-life women of diverse backgrounds and ages.[4] These portraits were always painted, with no real person ever having posed as a model.[citation needed]


The Minneapolis suburb of Golden Valley, Minnesota (where General Mills is headquartered) has a street named after her: Betty Crocker Drive.[citation needed]

In 2005, the 10th edition of the Betty Crocker cookbook was published, as well as a Spanish/English bilingual book that collects some of the more common recipes for Spanish-speaking readers looking to cook American-style food. There are also a number of Betty Crocker-branded products, such as hand mixers, which support General Mills product line of foodstuffs.[citation needed]

In 2006, the Betty Crocker Catalog went out of business with all of its inventory on sale. Points were redeemable until December 15, 2006. A new online store was launched in April 2007; will be part of the web site in conjunction with[citation needed]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Agnes White Tizard: Betty Crocker". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Jarvits, Janet. "Betty Crocker Edition History". General Mills. 
  3. ^ "Accomplished Alpha Delta Pi Members in Education and Science". Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Betty Crocker Portraits". General Mills. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Betty Crocker product list, General Mills


External links[edit]