The Betty Story
Betty’s first product was introduced in the1930s – an all-purpose baking mix that was launched alongside her first Cook Book, ‘101 Delicious Bisquick Creations’.
Women at war
Women took an active role in the war, filling the empty jobs left by the men and working in munitions factories.
World War Two Ends
Betty Crocker was voted the second most recognizable female in the country (second only to Elinor Roosevelt!) and heralded as 'America's First Lady of Food'.
Betty Crocker's First Cake Mixes hit America's shelves. The products offered a fabulous alternative to the time-consuming and often tricky process of baking a cake from scratch.
Due to changes in kitchen technology and the introduction of new appliances, there was a need for new recipes. In response Betty’s first Cook Book was published, now affectionately known as 'Big Red'. It was the first cook book to have 'how to' pictures.
TV was now a popular advertising
medium and Betty was given her own
The actress Adelaide Hawley was cast as Betty -
a surprise to many, as she was stunningly blonde!
When the men returned from war, the women who had taken up their jobs were forced to leave and return to their lives as housewives. According to research carried out by the feminist writer Betty Friedan, women saw their lives as unfulfilled.
Betty’s marvelous recipes were triple-tested to ensure that they always performed well. Her trustworthy products made it easier for women to live up to the 1950s ideal of the perfect housewife who demonstrated her love for her family through baking.
Research conducted by psychologist Ernest Dichter proved that being able to add an egg to a cake mix, rather than just using powdered egg, took away the guilt of convenient baking and affirmed the woman’s role as provider.
Betty launched the ‘American Homemaker of Tomorrow’ competition. Thousands of high school girls from across the country entered, sitting a variety of written and practical tests to win the coveted award. It was the first time the role of homemaker had been celebrated in this way.
Betty's Continental Casseroles 'For Those Who Can't Go Abroad' was published. There was a growing trend for international holidays, but many couldn't afford such a luxury. Betty made it possible for them to experience delicious and easy foreign meals at home.
It noted discrimination against women in the areas of education, home, legal, politics and employment.
The publication of Betty Friedan's 'The Feminine Mystique' was published in 1963. The book highlighted Friedan's view of a pervasive post-World War 2 ideology of female domesticity that stifled middle-class women’s opportunities to be anything but homemakers.
Public support for gender equality grew.
‘The Declaration of American Women’ was written and read at the National Women’s Conference.
Betty brought out a new range of affordable meals, such as the Hamburger Helper, as quick dinner alternatives for American families
The Betty Crocker Homemaker Competition ended. More than 8 million high-school girls had taken part.
Cooks demanded a maximally moist cake so Pudding Mix was added to Betty’s Cake Mix. 'Betty Crocker Supermoist Cake Mix' was produced and this technique is still used in Betty's cakes today!
The 1980s was the generation of “Me, me, me” status seekers. More women returned to work and numbers of divorces and single parents continued to rise.
Betty's portrait took on another transformation to reflect the working woman of the decade who could balance a job as a CEO and a wife/mother.
With so many women returning to work, Betty understood that convenience was a major factor for these time-short women. She came up with handy lunch products and produced her '30 Minutes or Less' Cook Books to help the 'Supermums' create delicious meals for their families in no time.
The world wide web was born and by 1994 3 million people were online.
Betty Crocker’s website was one of the first food brand websites to be launched.
It provided message boards, photo galleries and meal planning tools - a forum for all kinds of people to share ideas and tips. Betty also employed professional chefs to answer baking queries.
was created, giving Betty a more ethnic look than before. /images of seventy-five women who were felt to most embody the spirit of Betty were merged to create the innovative portrait.
To help women become more confident cooks, Betty published her helpful 'Cooking Basics: Learning to Cook with Confidence' Cook Book which made cooking simple.
After the backlash against the have-it-all ‘Supermum’ of the eighties and nineties, women have a growing acceptance of the costs of work vs family life and recognize the validity of stay-at-home mums and the beneficial effects this has on children.
With more Mums at home, 56% of Mums say they bake more frequently than they did five years ago.
Edition of Betty’s ‘Big Red’ Cook Book published
The new Betty Crocker Kitchens opened where twenty full-time home economists work hard creating new recipes for the brand. The kitchens are the home of inspiration for the brand and consumers are regularly invited in to help taste and try out new products.
In the 1920s, Betty received over a million letters a year. Ninety years on, Betty is still contacted by millions of women, only now via email. Every day at 4pm, Betty’s website hits spike as thousands of women go online to get ideas for dinner.
Globally,Betty Crocker has almost 1,000,000 followers on Facebook and 30,000 on Twitter. Fans can use these pages to ask for help and advice with their cooking and baking dilemmas and to display their own creations.