SIC 2045

This industry classification comprises establishments primarily involved in manufacturing prepared mixes and doughs from purchased flours. Establishments primarily involved in milling flour from grain and manufacturing grain mill products, including prepared mixes and doughs, are classified in SIC 2041: Flour and Other Grain Mill Products.

NAICS Code(s)

311822 (Flour Mixes and Dough Manufacturing from Purchased Flour)

In 2000 establishments classified in this industry shipped products totaling $4.6 billion. This represented a decline from 1999 shipments of $5.2 billion. In fact, shipment levels in 2000 were similar to those of the mid-1990s. Total costs of material for the industry amounted to $2.5 billion in 2000, compared to $2.6 billion in 1999. Costs in 2000 were also similar to those of the mid-1990s. Three of the industry's leading companies were Dean Food Products, Inc.; Cereal Food Processors, Inc.; and Continental Mills Inc.

In the early 2000s, cake and cookie mixes accounted for the majority of industry shipments. The concept of commercial mixes first developed when millers began adding a leavening agent and salt to flour products to make "self-rising" formulations. Self-rising flours became popular in the southeastern portion of the United States because traditional leavening agents, such as baking powder, had limited shelf life in hot, humid climates.

The development of a stable shortening led to the introduction of the nation's first biscuit mix in the 1920s. Cake mixes tentatively appeared during the 1930s after the industry learned how to dehydrate eggs. Because mixes were convenience products rather than necessities, further commercial development was hampered by the economic hardships and product shortages associated with the Depression and World War II. Following World War II, however, the country embraced convenience. Cake mixes reappeared and began to find increasing popularity not only with homemakers but also among restaurants and institutional users.

During the early 1990s, mixes continued to enjoy widespread popularity. Many bakers preferred mixes to traditional "from scratch" recipes because in addition to offering convenience, they provided consistently favorable results, even for inexperienced cooks. Prepared mixes were available for a wide variety of products including breads, rolls, cakes, cookies, and pancakes. Mixes were generally one of two kinds. One type required only the addition of a specified amount of liquid. Another type required the addition of other ingredients such as eggs and shortening.

According to a report published by Institutional Distribution, the best selling cake mixes to food service establishments were chocolate, white, devil's food, spice, and pound cakes. In addition, carrot, crumb, gingerbread, lemon, sponge, angel food, applesauce, banana, and brownie mixes were also popular.

According to government statistics, this industry employed 17,874 workers in 2000, compared to 15,534 people in 1997. Over the same time period, payroll grew from $484 million to $528 million. Georgia, Illinois, and Missouri employed the greatest number of workers in the late 1990s.

Further Reading

From Wheat to Flour. Washington: Wheat Flour Institute, 1981.

United States Census Bureau. "Manufacturing—Industry Series." 1997 Economic Census. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 15 November 1999.

United States Census Bureau. "Statistics for Industries and Industry Groups: 2000." Annual Survey of Manufacturers. February 2002. Available from .

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