What’s in a name?
For Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT), best known for macaroni and cheese, Ritz brand crackers and Oreos, apparently quite a bit as evidenced by the name given to their new global snack business: Mondelēz International, Inc.
Mondelēz (pronounced mohn-dah-LEEZ) is a word combination (more formally, a portmanteau) based on the idea of “Monde” which is Latin for “world,” and “delez” which is, according to Kraft, a “fanciful expression of ‘delicious.’” Mondelēz is, in effect, symbolic for a “delicious world.”
“It’s quite a job for a single word to capture everything about what we want the new global snacks company to stand for,” Kraft’s Chief Marketing Officer Mary Beth West said in a statement through WSJ.com. Mondelēz is “interesting, unique and captures a big idea.”
Kraft sought out naming ideas from employees worldwide, and received more than 1,000 submissions. Mondelēz International was inspired by an employee in Europe and one in North America. The company tested it out with 28 different focus groups, and was adopted with Kraft’s board of directors approving the name. Shareholders will vote on the name in May, and if approved, it will take effect when the snack business rolls out prior to year end.
Last August, Kraft announced the company will split into two companies: a $31 billion snack business (Mondelēz International) containing the worldwide brand names Ritz, Oreos, Cadbury and Trident, and a $17 billion North American grocery business that will keep names such as Kraft cheese, Maxwell House and Oscar Meyer.
Although no data indicating how the name plays out in the market is available, the name is sure to cause some distress among writers and editors, as the “macron” mark found above the second “e” might be difficult to produce in press production.
As for consumers, as long as the words “Oreos,” “Ritz,” and “Cadbury” don’t change on the labels, the damage should be extremely limited.
— Marc Bastow, InvestorPlace Assistant Editor