Going gluten-free: Even Betty Crocker wants to help

After two workers at Betty Crocker discovered that they needed to switch to a gluten-free diet, the popular baked goods manufacturer started a long and tricky quest to produce gluten-free desserts, on the reasoning that no one should ever have to go without a birthday cake.

The Wall Street Journal
(subscription required) credits the rise of gluten-free products to an increase in the diagnosis of celiac disease, as well as more families limiting their intake of gluten for general health reasons. Others say gluten is the new cholesterol, and it's becoming trendy in some circles to avoid it.

While Betty Crocker is finding it easy to market the gluten-free foods to customers, creating a gluten-free dessert that was actually tasty proved to be quite the challenge. "From September to December, General Mills (which owns the Betty Crocker brand) food scientists baked more than 1,000 pans of brownies, cookies and cakes while conducting about 75 experiments with different formulations." Rising above the limitations it faced, Betty Crocker now offers four gluten-free desserts mixes; Brownies, Cookies, devil's food cake and yellow cake manufactured in a gluten-free facility.