The History of Hamburger Helper

The history of hamburger helper is incredibly interesting. Hamburger helper was born in 1971 under the Betty Crocker label. Over the years they expanded flavors and varieties to where we are today.

The Timeline

A timeline is the best way to display the history of hamburger helper.

  • 1967: Betty Crocker releases a box dinner that was the precursor to hamburger helper. You had to cook the elements in separate pans before combining them together. Because of this it was not popular and was quickly discontinued.
  • 1971: Betty Crocker takes a second stab at a boxed dinner by releasing Hamburger Helper. They promised thrifty convenience in one pan. Sales were hot and in the first year they estimated 27% of Americans had tried Hamburger Helper.
  • 1972: Tuna Helper Launched
  • 1973: Fruit Helper was born. Combining fruit, pudding, and graham crackers together.
  • 1977: Hamburger Helper gets its iconic mascot, Lefty.
  • 1983: Chicken helper came on the scene.
  • 2003: Pork Helper launched, then was quickly discontinued.
  • 2006: Hamburger Helper microwave singles hit shelves.

Hamburger Helper Sparks Nostalgia

It is hard for me to think about Hamburger Helper without getting a bit nostalgic. I think everyone has at least one memory with Hamburger Helper. The history of Hamburger Helper has its place in my own personal history.

I remember growing up on this stuff. When mom would be busy all day I knew what would be for dinner. My parents loved Hamburger Helper for the convenience and the cost. It was a cheap way to feed our big family. You could take that single pound of hamburger and keep the family happy. Pro tip, my parents would add more pasta to the mixture to help stretch it even further.

Subscribe To The Toasty Kettle Podcast Using These Links

If you use another pod catcher and you don’t see it here, let me know and I’ll try to get the show added wherever you like to listen to podcasts. Leave a note in the comments or send a message to

Follow Me On Social Media

Know A Restaurant I Should Interview??

The world is a very big place. If you have a restaurant contributing to food history in some way, I want to know about it. Complete the form here and we will make it happen!

The History of Hamburger Helper

2 thoughts on “The History of Hamburger Helper

  • November 3, 2019 at 2:34 am

    In the early 1970s, Hunts had skillet dinners similar to Hamburger Helper. One of the tasty items was their skillet lasagna. I actually preferred the Hunts meals.

    • November 3, 2019 at 1:54 pm

      That sounds delicious, and a great addition to the history of skillet meals. Thanks for sharing!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: