Kraft's odd new business name

The company shoots for international appeal as it prepares to spin off its snacks division.

By Kim Peterson Mar 23, 2012 12:06PM
Monde who?

That was the reaction all around as Kraft Foods (KFT) announced the name of the global snacks business it plans to spin off. The name, with a macron mark and all, is Mondelēz International.

Quite an exotic name for a division that will include brands like Trident gum, Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolates. Kraft says the name is a portmanteau of two words. "Monde" is the Latin word for "world," and "delēz" is a way to say "delicious."

It's a name that had many marketing experts stumped. "This is both difficult to say and to decipher the meaning," brand expert Cheryl Swanson told The Wall Street Journal.

Companies go through huge prep work when it comes to picking a brand name, and Kraft tested its name across 28 languages. Maybe it should have tested a little more, as AdAge reports that the word Mondelēz sounds like a Russian term for a sexual act.

Kraft said Russian was one of the 28 languages it covered in focus-group testing. "We determined misinterpretations in any of the languages to be low-risk," a spokesman said. Kraft will now ignore all snickering from Russia, thank you very much.

Are we seeing another Incubus? That was the name of a woman's running shoe from Reebok in the late 1990s, the Journal reports. Incubus is the same name of a mythical spirit that has sex with women in their sleep. The company recalled the shoes.

Jim Cramer discusses Kraft's decision to split in the following video.

Post continues below.
Kraft is clearly trying to expand the global appeal of its $31 billion snacks business. It's by far the largest business under the company, and nearly twice the value of Kraft's $17 billion grocery business (which will continue to be called Kraft Foods).

Shareholders will have the final say in whether "Mondelēz International" will move forward. They get to vote on the name at their May 23 meeting.
Tags: KFT
Mar 23, 2012 1:22PM
What's wrong with just naming it Kraft?!
Mar 23, 2012 1:18PM

Kraft Foods.  Kraft Snacks.  Problem solved.  Oh, wait, they want to have an international flair.  Kraft Snacks International.

Mar 23, 2012 2:15PM
I don't know, was something like, say, "Kraft Foods International" already taken?!
Mar 23, 2012 12:53PM

Horrible name, doesn't flow off the tongue or anything

If its just a name in the small print, no big deal

But if its a prominent name on the front, bad idea

Nothing against a Latino sounding name, but pick a good one!

Mar 23, 2012 1:01PM
Mondelez, sounds vaguely Hispanic and completely unrelated to food.  Looks like a bad choice to me.
Mar 24, 2012 6:52PM
what makes the new name better than kraft?? i always associated kraft with quality, well maybe no longer ..
Mar 23, 2012 1:45PM
It sounds like a Spanish people mover. The new Mondelez GLS with dual airbags...
Mar 23, 2012 1:05PM
its all about getting the (american) out of it so they can be more international i for one am done buying   KRAFT snacks
Mar 23, 2012 1:31PM
Are they going to take the Nabisco label off Oreos?  Because I can just bet Oreo lovers are going to think they taste different with a Mondelez logo on them.  Just a recent example, people thought the Coke in the polar bear white Coke cans tasted different than the red cans.  Why a visual difference matters I can't explain, but for some people it does. 
Mar 23, 2012 1:21PM
The whole thing seems kinda cheezy to me, lol
Mar 23, 2012 5:21PM
Kraft is a for profit business trying to make money for its investors.  Anybody who's outraged or offended >:(  by their choice of a business name, or by MSN's decision to report on it, are seriously in need of a priority adjustment and an ego deflation.  The world isn't all about pleasing you.
Mar 25, 2012 6:53AM
Mar 23, 2012 1:41PM

well, if you want people to loose your brand name memory

this is the way to do it......People buy what they know....You watch

people will think your some overseas company and you will loose customers.


Mar 23, 2012 2:38PM
Obviously chosen by a committee - they could have done better - wonder how much $$$ they spent on research.
Mar 23, 2012 3:30PM

What's wrong with the name they have?  You don't need to teach anyone to how to pronounce it and the good will and reputation of the Kraft name gets lost on new product.


Mar 23, 2012 3:16PM
Who cares if it is international or not.  They have a name and need to keep it.  Obviously the Kraft name has worked intheir favor for how many years now.  Foreign corporations don't cange their names to satisfy us, why does Kraft think they need to do it?
Mar 25, 2012 8:11AM
Mar 23, 2012 2:18PM
what's wrong with keeping the Kraft name? it's already a familiar brand. i use several kraft products all the time
Mar 23, 2012 2:21PM

Brand name building exercise 101. "If ain't broke, don't try to fix it".  This got to be a team that is full of master and PhD's, because the public will not buy it. 

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