We know that Betty Crocker is a made up person. Is Duncan Hines a product of imagination too?
Turns out that Duncan Hines was an actual person. You probably know him because his name is on boxes of cake mixes. He started out as a traveling sales man. Before the information highway many people got sick eating at greasy spoons at the side of the actual highway. Restaurants that catered to travelers weren’t too afraid of scaring away repeat business.
Duncan Hines traveled all over for his job. While out on the road he kept a travel log of the best restaurants. For one Christmas he printed the list out and gave it to friends. It was a hit. Soon others were requesting it. He was the first Zagat.
Eventually restaurants would request permission to put out a signs bragging that they were a Duncan Hines approved restaurant. His name was the golden touch. Later he was tapped by processed food makers to add his name to their products. He agreed and that is why we see his name on our grocery store shelves today.