Betty Crocker bids catalog goodbye

May 01, 2006 9:30 PM  By

After 44 years, the Betty Crocker subsidiary of Minneapolis-based General Mills will print its final catalog edition this fall. The book’s online counterpart, launched in 1997, will go dark shortly after that, although the core Betty Crocker Website, which offers recipes, cooking tips, and links to sister food brands, will remain active.

The company will also discontinue its Betty Crocker points program. The 75-year-old brand loyalty program encouraged customers to clip coupons and certificates from the packaging of major General Mills products and then redeem them for discounts on merchandise.

“We made the decision to go in a different direction just a few months ago,” says spokesperson Pam Becker, who notes that interest in the Betty Crocker catalog and the corresponding points program had grown stale in recent years.

“This was a hard decision for us,” Becker says about folding the catalog and the points program. “It’s not an easy thing to walk away from something that is very meaningful to a large number of customers.” But the company found that the numbers for both the catalog and the points program have tailed off enough that changes needed to be made.

Everything must go

Founded in 1962, the Betty Crocker catalog was published four to six times a year. The book sold cake pans, muffin tins, utensils, and other housewares. The Website sells the full line of catalog products.

Because the Betty Crocker points program is folding, any customers still holding coupons should move quickly to redeem any remaining points, Becker says. “We don’t in fact know when we will run out of merchandise. But the earlier those holding coupons act, the better.”