Duncan Hines was a real person. Betty Crocker was invented purely for marketing purposes. Duncan Hines is a brand owned by Pinnacle Food Corp. Betty Crocker is owned by General Mills.
Both companies are now associated with cake mixes and other products to make life easier for the busy homemaker. Easier, not healthier.
Here is the ingredient list for Betty Crocker Cake Mix, German Chocolate:
Enriched Flour Bleached (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Corn Syrup, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Corn Starch, Modified Corn Starch, Contains 1% or Less of: Salt, Propylene Glycol Mono and Diesters of Fatty Acids, Distilled Monoglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Artificial Flavor.
Duncan Hines’ version:
mix: sugar, bleached wheat flour (wheat flour [enriched with niacin, reduced iron, thiamine, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], malted barley flour), cocoa powder pressed with alkali, vegetable oil, shortening (palm oil), dextrose, contains 2% or less of: modified food starch, salt, leavening (sodium bicarbonate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate monohydrate), emulsifer (propylene esters, mono and diglycerides, sodium stearoyl, lactylate), natural and artificial flavor (maltodextrin, cocoal butter, cocoa powder, natural and artificial flavoring, butter [cream, salt], leucine, caramel color), german chocolate pouch: sugar, coconut with sodium metabisulate as a perservative, modified food starch, almonds, pecans, vegetable oil, shortening (palm oil), reconstituted skim milk, maltodextrin, contains 2% or less of: salt, colored with (caramel, color), guar and xanthan gum, natural and artificial flavor.
Both mixes may make your life easier, but spending 10 more minutes to prepare cake with real ingredients will lead to a much tastier end-result. Not to mention, healthier. (As healthy as cakes go…)