Duncan Hines Goes Dairy, Time-pressed Bakers Rise Up

By Jennifer Siegel

Published August 26, 2005, issue of August 26, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Baking from the box is about to get a bit harder for the world’s kosher cooks.

Duncan Hines, the only commercial brand of pareve, or nondairy, cake mixes, recently announced that it will add milk-based ingredients to its products in the fall, according to the industry newspaper Kosher Today.

The decision has spurred some members of the Jewish community to circulate an e-mail asking recipients to lodge complaints on the brand’s Web site, www.duncanhines.com.

Beth Wolpoff, 35, director of development for the Samuel Field YM & YWHA in Little Neck, N.Y., is one of the critics of the upcoming change. “I don’t have two or three hours to make something from scratch,” she said. “For me this is the only option, because either I do it Thursday night when I get home from work, or Friday afternoon if I get home at a decent hour.”

Duncan Hines, formerly owned by Procter & Gamble, was recently sold to the Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Pinnacle Foods Corporation, which also acquired Lender’s Bagels. Though Kelley Maggs, a Pinnacle Foods senior vice president, recognized that the change will affect kosher and lactose-intolerant consumers, he ultimately defended the move, arguing that adding dairy products is likely to improve the overall quality and marketability of the mixes. The brand, which will continue to be certified as kosher by the Orthodox Union, will now be marked with a “D” (for dairy) in addition to the “OU” symbol it already bears.

Wolpoff, who lives with her husband on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, said she uses a Duncan Hines mix at least once a week, but is most worried about Jews who live outside major cities and do not have kosher bakeries available for back-up. “My family is in Jacksonville, Fla., [so] my mother will have no options for whenever she serves a meat meal, because she can’t bake from scratch,” Wolpoff said. “This is it, and if they change it she won’t be able to serve anything but fruit.”

Maggs confirmed that Pinnacle Foods has been receiving customer complaints, but he could not estimate their number. Nabisco’s Stella D’oro brand attempted to make a similar switch several years ago, but reversed its decision after a consumer outcry.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.