Gen. Mills’ Betty Crocker on List of “Famous Frontwomen”

The fictionalized character’s look has been updated seven times, most recently in 1996.

In 1921, a predecessor to General Mills invented the name Betty Crocker in order to personalize responses to customer letters, thousands of which flooded in during a promotional contest for Gold Medal Flour.

Today, Betty Crocker is a household name—so well known, in fact, that it made a just-released Adweek list of “Five Famous Female Frontwomen.”

Baking advice given by the fictionalized character was so popular that, in 1936, an artist was commissioned to create Betty Crocker’s likeness and the Betty Crocker mascot was born.

According to Adweek, her look has been updated seven times, most recently in 1996. While initially portrayed as a matronly woman, today’s Betty is resourceful, committed to family, community-minded, and likes to bake.

Adweek notes that there’s always a Betty on duty at General Mills’ Golden Valley headquarters, and an associate marketing manager told the publication that “she is on top of the latest food trends.”

The four other “Famous Female Frontwomen” on Adweek’s list are Progressive’s Flo, Mrs. Butterworth, M&M’s Ms. Brown, and the Chicken of the Sea mermaid. To read more about all five, click here.

General Mills—founded in 1928, seven years after Betty Crocker was cooked up—is Minnesota’s seventh-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $16.7 billion for the fiscal year that ended in May 2012.