Duncan Hines, The Man, was a traveling salesman turned food critic. Duncan’s passion for baked goods evolved into hundreds of products, including cake mixes. Today, Duncan Hines is a leading maker of cake, brownie, muffin, dessert kits and cookie mixes, and ready-to-serve frostings. Duncan Hines is owned by Pinnacle Foods Group, Inc., a leading producer, marketer and distributor of high-quality branded food products in the frozen foods and dry foods segments.
The company responded in September 2006 to consumer demand and declared it would bring back certified pareve kosher cake mixes, reversing the 2005 decision to switch the product to dairy. Now, once again, the mixes are available to prepare cakes for the Sabbath table, which usually features meat meals.
The 2006 decision was assisted by the work of OU rabbinic coordinator Rabbi Michael Coleman, who during the period following the move to dairy communicated effectively and worked diligently with Duncan Hines plant and R&D personnel to help them gain a better understanding not only of OU certification, but of the advantages of pareve status.
As a result, Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mixes are once again identified by OU or OU Pareve on the label. The product line includes Moist Deluxe Classic Yellow, the best selling cake mix in the country, and other consumer favorites such as Devil’s Food, Lemon Supreme and Butter Recipe Golden.
“We are very excited to again offer Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mixes as non-dairy pareve products,” declared Chief Executive Officer Jeff Ansell. “We are now able to ensure that our production facilities (in Centralia, IL) can produce dairy-free product with certainty. This is based on moving our dairy-based cakes to another production facility.We made this shift in production because we wanted to once again offer our long-time and valued pareve consumers non-dairy cake mixes. It was a difficult decision last year to change away from pareve. We heard both from consumers and trade customers and that is why we worked hard to make the move back to pareve,” said Mr. Ansell.
In addition to satisfying the needs of kosher consumers, non-dairy pareve products can be enjoyed by lactose intolerance individuals with a sweet tooth.
Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher, praises Duncan Hines for its decision to restore mixes to OU pareve status. “Successful companies make smart decisions, even if it means reversing a previous decision,” he declared. I commend the company for restoring the mixes to OU pareve status, which means they are now restored to the Sabbath meat table.”