Hines, Duncan

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Hines, Duncan (1880–1959), is the namesake of one of the most well-known boxed cake mixes in the United States since the mid-twentieth century. Often considered alongside Sara Lee and Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, unlike these brands, was neither an invented character nor a pseudonym, but the first national restaurant critic in American history. See betty crocker and sara lee. An energetic, extroverted traveling salesman, Hines retired from business in 1936 to self-publish a best-selling restaurant guidebook, Adventures in Good Eating. Soon elevated to the status of “authority on American food,” his persona became associated with notions of trust, honesty, and high standards in an era when middle-class diners traveling by automobile spurred the professionalization and expansion of the restaurant industry.