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March 21–Kraft Foods is proposing to change the name of its global snacks business to Mondelez International Inc. when it splits into two companies this year.Pronounced moan-duh-leez, the name is meant to convey “delicious world,” using a derivation of the Latin word for world, and the Kraft-employee-coined word “delez,” using Romance language roots to signify “delicious.”
As a standalone company, the $35 billion global snacking company, with brands like Oreo, Ritz, Tang and Trident, will do at least 80 per cent of its business outside of North America.
Kraft’s North American grocery business, with revenue of $18 billion, is keeping brands including Kraft Singles, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Planters. That company will retain the Kraft Foods name, but not necessarily the current “KFT” stock ticker.
The company also confirmed Wednesday that its North American grocery business will remain in Northfield, at Kraft’s headquarters on Three Lakes Drive. The company will consolidate employees from Glenview, its beverages division in Tarrytown, N.Y., and its Planters business in East Hanover N.Y.
The global snacks business will be headquartered in Deerfield. Kraft is in negotiations for a lease there, a spokesman said, and so the address was not disclosed. The spinoff is expected to take place in the fourth quarter.
In an interview, Kraft’s global chief marketing officer Mary Beth West, said the snack company was looking for a name that underscored the global scope of its business, and paid homage the Kraft’s “make today delicious” mantra.
“We’re trying to create the thought of a house of brands, as opposed to a branded house,” she said. “We really want a unifying umbrella under which all of our fabulous iconic global brands can live.”
Additionally, most consumers buy their snacks based on the product name, not the name of the company on the back.
“In many ways this isn’t a consumer-facing name, it’s a company name,” West said. However, Kraft does plan to market the new name, assuming it launches this year.
The name is subject to a shareholder vote in May, but the company has reserved the ticker “MDLZ” in the event of passage.
The Mondelez logo, which the company was unable to release, is a “Mondelez” spelled out in a purple, cursive font with small, red teardrops on either end, and the word “International” nestled underneath.
Kraft asked for employee suggestions for a new name last fall.
Mondelez, in different forms and spellings, was submitted by two employees, General Counsel Marc Firestone, based in Northfield, and Johannes Schmidt, director, information systems strategic applications, based in Vienna.
Kraft spokesman Michael Mitchell said the name has been tested with focus groups in 28 languages to avoid any unfortunate translations, or idiomatic expressions.
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