How companies influenced what women baked

As fewer women baked bread at home, and flour sales declined as a result, General Mills launched their Betty Crocker campaign in 1924 to encourage women to bake cakes at home, and to do so more often. The campaign was successful, and in the first years of the Great Depression, major flour milling companies, specifically their baking supply branches, opened new plants while most other industries struggled.

The cake-related branch of General Foods, Iglehart, then the producer of over 75% of the packaged cake flour available on the national market, achieved record sales in 1931.Through 1933, the baking industry overall remained profitable and saw only a small decline in employment and wages. Advertisement campaigns, directed at women, helped sales continue to grow.

See “The Power of Corporate Interests Over Home Baking” by Maria Dawson on the Nursing Clio website (2019)

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