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Nov 10, 2009

Betty Crocker Digital Kitchen Assistant Makes Food Preparation a Snap

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New Microsoft Windows application offers millions of recipes, interactive experience for cooks

Not sure what to make for dinner tonight? Need ideas for party appetizers? Find answers to these questions and a whole lot more with Betty Crocker Kitchen Assistant, a new digital, voice-activated tool featuring high-resolution recipe images and step-by-step cooking instructions. General Mills has teamed with Microsoft Corp. to make the Betty Crocker Kitchen Assistant application available on Windows PCs sitting on kitchen counters everywhere, enabling families to access recipes and get cooking tips and instructions in a snap.

Available for free download today at www.bettycrocker.com/kitchenassistant, the new application bridges the rich content and services found on the Betty Crocker website — such as trusted recipes, cooking tips and saved recipes— with timely, personalized recipe suggestions, programmable kitchen timers and sophisticated touch screen capabilities. Based on Microsoft technologies and optimized for the new Windows 7 operating system, the application features a highly intuitive recipe search interface, touch screen compatibility and an easy to use “cook mode” providing simplified instructions.

“We’re constantly re-thinking how we offer useful content to consumers in their homes,” says Mike Bettison, web site manager, General Mills. “By partnering with Microsoft to create a unique Windows application, we are able to improve the utility of our content and shape it to be more relevant in the kitchen.” 

The Betty Crocker Kitchen Assistant was designed to enhance and accelerate how cooks work in their own kitchens. Simply enter the ingredients you have available and the Betty Crocker Kitchen Assistant will suggest recipes based on your input. When you save your recipes online as a member of BettyCrocker.com, your saved information will sync with the Betty Crocker Kitchen Assistant’s desktop recipe box. 

“With more families cooking together and eating at home, they are hungry for tools that can save them time in the kitchen,” says Kevin Tigges, U.S. consumer goods industry solutions director, Microsoft Corp. “The Betty Crocker Kitchen Assistant saves time by offering consumers a more interactive and informative cooking experience with help from their Windows PCs. The new digital tool also provides General Mills a compelling way to engage with its customers.”

“We believe that over time, consumers will have a computer on the kitchen counter,” says Bettison. “Betty Crocker is looking to the future and wants to help consumers get there.  That’s why we created Betty Crocker Kitchen Assistant to use in the kitchen.  The application’s ‘Cook Mode’ feature displays beautiful, large-scale recipe photos right next to step-by-step directions. With a large computer screen, those instructions can be seen from up to 5 feet away. The application also works with a touch screen.  Or if you’re hands are covered with flour, take advantage of Windows 7 voice recognition to move to the next screen.”

The Betty Crocker Kitchen Assistant is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and is optimized for Windows 7 and leverages built-in technologies of the new operating system including touch screen and voice recognition capabilities. In Windows 7, users can install a desktop widget featuring recipe suggestions and programmable timers. The Betty Crocker Kitchen Assistant will be distributed using the cloud-based service foundation Windows Azure as the content distribution system.

More information on the Betty Crocker Kitchen Assistant including images and demonstrations can be found at the following web sites: www.youtube.com/kitchenassistant; www.flickr.com/kitchenassistant; www.vimeo.com/kitchenassistant.

About Betty Crocker
Since her creation in 1921, Betty Crocker has been one of the strongest brand icons in the food industry. A brand associated with quality and trust, Betty Crocker and the red spoon symbol appear on more than 300 General Mills products including ready-to-spread frostings and mixes that make some of the country’s best cakes, brownies, cookies, muffins and other baked goods. As a pioneer in the dessert mix category, General Mills was one of the first companies to introduce layer cake mix in 1947; it did so under the Betty Crocker name. This started a revolution in baking, providing homemakers with a convenient, reliable way to replicate the quality and taste of “homemade” without the hassle.

Betty Crocker is a Reg. T.M. of General Mills, Inc.

About General Mills
One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2009 global net sales of US$15.9 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales. Visit www.generalmills.com.


For More Information, Contact:

Heidi Geller
General Mills
763-764-6364

OR

Paula Mielke
General Mills
651-492-4143