Monday, March 1, 2010

Betty Crocker's Gluten Free Mixes

Gluten free baking mixes have been available on the market for a few years now. Many of the manufacturers were small companies, and the products were marketed in specialty shops or online. And they were, and still are, quite expensive.

Enter Betty Crocker, a leader in the industry and a 900-pound gorilla in the gluten free product market.

Not only are the boxed mixes less expensive, under five dollars, the resulting baked goods taste every bit as good as their wheat-based counterparts.

The brownies I made up from the brownie mix, for example, are rich in flavor and have a moist, airy texture. No bitter aftertaste or dryness. No crumbly texture. No dense “wet spots”. I’ve tried quite a few of the gluten free mixes now, and Betty Crocker outperforms them all but Bob’s Red Mill and Cherrybrook Kitchens.

The 16-ounce box yields an 8x8 pan, which makes the cost a little higher than the mainstream mixes, but compared to other gluten-free mixes, the price is on the low end of the scale.

Betty Crocker produces not only the brownie mix, but also a chocolate chip cookie mix, and two cake mixes: devil’s food and yellow cake.

I find them in my local supermarket and usually pay $3.99 a box. That I can pick them up during my regular shopping trips, and don’t have to make a special trip, is a real boon.

That Betty Crocker is able to get these products onto the shelves of conventional supermarkets demonstrates not only that gluten-free has gone mainstream, but also that large food corporations, such as General Mills, are finally paying attention to the plight of those consumers who deal with food allergies every day of their lives.

Betty Crocker, just as in 1924 when General Mills aired “The Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air” on radio for information hungry cooks, is once again turning a niche market into a mass market. Those in the food industry should be watching, because that Betty, she’s one smart cookie.

Note: I have not received any compensation from Betty Crocker or General Mills, nor any other product mentioned in this review.

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