Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT), the food manufacturer spinning off its grocery business later this year, will change its name to Mondelez International Inc. after the split as it seeks a new identity as a global snacks company.
Pronounced “Mohn-dah-LEEZ,” the new name is a combination of the Latin word for “world” and an expression meant to evoke the word “delicious,” Northfield, Illinois-based Kraft said today in a statement. The grocery business will be named Kraft Foods Group Inc.
Mondelez will be strictly a corporate name on the back of packages of such snack foods as Oreo cookies and Newtons snacks. After the split, the snacks business will market those brands directly to consumers and Mondelez will remain in the background.
“The intention is for Mondelez to be a corporate name,” Michael Mitchell, a Kraft spokesman, said in a phone interview. “It won’t be a consumer-facing name.”
Mondelez will retain the Kraft name on some products, such as Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese, for an undetermined period of time after the split, Mitchell said. Mondelez will pay a royalty to the Kraft grocery business. After that period of time expires, Mondelez won’t take the place of the Kraft name.
In the case of the Philadelphia brand, at some point in the future neither Kraft not Mondelez will be on the front of the cream cheese packaging. That will be true of any brand using the Kraft name now that Mondelez will own after the split.
Kraft asked employees to suggest names, and more than 1,000 participated, submitting more than 1,700 potential names, the company said. The inspiration for Mondelez came from two employees, one in Europe and another in North America.
Kraft, the world’s second-largest food manufacturer, is splitting up to help the snacks business push products into emerging markets and make additional acquisitions. The slower- growing, higher-margin grocery business will continue working to expand in the U.S. and return cash to shareholders.
The company will be traded under the symbol MDLZ after the spinoff.
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