Betty Crocker is a household name known around the world today. For almost a century, Betty has created delicious recipes and proven baking methods that even most novice cooks and young newlyweds can follow to bake scrumptious desserts and a variety of baked goods. Betty’s advice in the kitchen is trusted by all and followed by many. However here are a few things you may not be aware of regarding Ms. Crocker.
In 1880, the forerunner of the General Mills Company entered its newly milled flour in the International Miller’s Competition and surprisingly it won a ‘Gold Medal’. So proud to have won this gold medal, the company changed the name of its flagship flour to “Gold Medal Flour.” Even though the original company changed hands several times, the name Gold Medal Flour has always remained; it’s the largest selling flour in the U.S.
Back in 1921, one of the predecessors to today’s General Mills decided to run a special promotion regarding its Gold Medal Flour. The company invited housewives to submit questions they had about Gold Medal Flour and assured everyone who did that they would receive a handwritten response from the company. The company was soon overwhelmed with letters coming in from across America. To ensure continuity in responding to all the people sending in questions, the company invented the name Betty Crocker – it just sounded like a good name. All the responses to questions the company received regarding Gold Medal Flour were sent out signed Betty Crocker.
Betty Crocker, a fictional character, became so popular with housewives and bakers around the world and they demanded to know what she looked like. So back in 1936, General Mills commissioned an artist to create a likeness of what he thought Betty Crocker would look like - thus the Betty Crocker image we know today was born.
Over the years General Mills has updated Betty’s look seven times. Each update provided her with a contemporary hair style and a modern, fashionable wardrobe. The last makeover Betty received was in 1996. While Betty initially was portrayed as a matronly mother, today she looks younger, resourceful and confident. In addition, she is committed to her family, her community and she loves to bake.
What’s interesting is that most people do not realize that there is always a "Betty Crocker" on duty 24/7 at the General Mills Company headquarters in Golden Valley, Minnesota, to answer any questions that arise regarding Gold Medal Flour.
What’s even more amazing is that according to AdWeek, Betty Crocker reigned as the “Most Famous Fictional Female in the U.S." for almost a century until she was recently bumped to second place by a young upstart. According to AdWeek, the four most famous fictional females in America today are:
1) Flo – The insurance spokeswoman from Progressive Insurance
2) Betty Crocker – The wise baker and kitchen consultant from General Mills
3) Mrs. (Joy) Butterworth – The syrup icon from Pinnacle Foods, and
4) Catalina – The beautiful, fun-loving mermaid from Chicken of the Sea