Betty Crocker, an invented persona, is a brand name and trademark of American food company 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.
Company executives chose the name "Betty" because it seemed warm and friendly to them. The surname "Crocker" was borrowed from retired executive William Crocker. In 1928 Washburn Crosby merged with five other milling companies to form General Mills, which continues to use the Betty Crocker brand on various products.
In 1929 Betty Crocker coupons were introduced. Inserted in bags of flour, they could be used to reduce the cost of Oneidaflatware. 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, which told purchasers to "save and redeem for big savings on fine kitchen and home accessories in our catalog".
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