Ever wonder how Bisquick, that famous "world of baking in a box," got its start? From its introduction in 1931 to the present day, Bisquick has been making great biscuits, pancakes and a whole lot more for almost 70 years. Here's a snapshot of its delicious history.
1930s: Bisquick Beginnings
In 1930, the idea for Bisquick was "born" on a train when Carl Smith, former circus promoter turned sales executive for General Mills, ordered biscuits with his meal. Though well past lunchtime, fresh, piping-hot biscuits arrived within minutes. The chef's timesaving secret? He had blended lard, flour, baking powder and salt in advance and stored the mixture in an ice chest. Smith immediately recognized the potential of a premixed baking mix, so he took the idea to Charlie Kress, the head chemist at General Mills, who began developing a top-secret biscuit mix.
Less than one year after Smith's diner-car discovery, Bisquick biscuit mix appeared on the market in 1931. It was a runaway hit! Competitors, anxious to jump on the Bisquick bandwagon, worked feverishly to develop comparable products. Within a year, 95 other biscuit mixes were introduced to the marketplace by 1933, only six remained, with Bisquick remaining the proven leader.
1940s and 1950s: Bisquick Makes It Easy
With America at war during the first half of the forties, families came to depend on the much-needed convenience of Bisquick. The Betty Crocker Kitchens continued to develop great-tasting recipes for every meal occasion, earning Bisquick the slogan of "a world of baking in a box."
In the fabulous fifties, the versatility of the "12-in-1 mix" was the name of the game. The most popular Bisquick recipes started appearing regularly on the friendly yellow box. Many of these recipe favorites are still printed on the Bisquick package today.
1960s: So Quick with New Bisquick
"Now a completely new Bisquick! Makes biscuits even lighter, fluffier than scratch!" was the headline of the fast-paced sixties, when New Bisquick was introduced. Designed to appeal to makers of southern-style biscuits, the reformulated Bisquick performed so well in test markets that it was rolled out into national distribution. Regular Bisquick was soon replaced, and the word New was dropped from the product name.
1970s: Bisquick Answers Your Recipe Requests
With the dawn of the seventies came an abundance of new Bisquick recipe ideas. Betty Crocker's Bisquick Cookbook, an updated version of a previous cookbook, was introduced in the fall of 1971 to help promote Bisquick as a multipurpose mix. The book was packed full with over 200 creative recipes for breads, main dishes and desserts, and was a raging success. By 1979, the cookbook was in its eighth printing!
1980s: A Milestone in Bisquick History
To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Bisquick, a special cookbook, Betty Crocker's Creative Recipes with Bisquick, was introduced. Hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic fans joined the Bisquick Recipe Club and received The Bisquick Banner, a quarterly newsletter that featured relevant articles, recipes for family meals and entertaining ideas.
Beginning in 1981, the "pie that did the impossible-formed its own crust as it baked" was heavily promoted with recipes, product advertising and booklets. The original Impossible Coconut Pie and Impossible Bacon Pie, which started as grassroots recipes that consumers shared with each other, quickly expanded to over 100 versions. Since then, these crustless pies have been renamed to Impossibly Easy Pies and they continue to be requested favorites.
1990s: Bisquick . . . What a Great Idea!
A desire to return to simplicity and use trusted favorites helped Bisquick continue to be a staple in homes across America. With the popularity of breads, pizzas and one-dish meals, Bisquick made it easy to get great-tasting, homemade meals on the table fast.
2000 and Beyond: The Best of Bisquick
Nearly seven decades later, America's first biscuit mix remains a baking classic and is as versatile as ever. Families continue to depend on Bisquick for delicious meal solutions everyone will love.
From "Betty Crocker's Bisquick Cookbook." Text Copyright 2000 General Mills, Inc. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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