Kraft to call snack business Mondelez International
(Reuters) - Move over Accenture, Verizon, and Diageo - there's a new made-up name coming to Corporate America.
Mondelez International, inspired by Latin and other languages, will be the new name of Kraft Foods Inc's KFT.N snack business. The change will occur once the maker of Oreo cookies, Cadbury chocolate and Trident gum is carved off from the rest of the business, which is expected later this year.
Kraft said on Wednesday that the name, pronounced "mohn-dah-LEEZ," is meant to evoke the idea of "delicious world."
"Monde" is based on the Latin word for "world," the company said, while "delez" is a "fanciful expression of 'delicious'" based on the word's translation to "delicieux" in French and "delicioso" in Spanish.
Mondelez will be the name of only the company, and is unlikely to be applied to any specific brands, said Kraft spokesman Michael Mitchell. That makes it similar to Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N), whose brands include Tide detergent and Pampers diapers, or Diageo (DGE.L), which has Guinness beer and Johnnie Walker Scotch.
In that way, it may have limited consumer impact, according to Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys Inc.
"If you get Oreos, do you care if they come from Kraft or if they come from Mondelez?" Passikoff said.
Kraft is working with the creative firm Attik on a corporate identity for Mondelez, which will have $32 billion in annual revenue, with 80 percent derived from outside North America.
At the end of last year, it generated 44 percent of its revenue from developing markets and 37 percent from Europe.
Kraft said it had also reserved the stock symbol "MDLZ."
Mondelez grew out of suggestions from two employees at the company, General Counsel Marc Firestone, based at the headquarters near Chicago, and Johannes Schmidt, a 35-year veteran in its information systems department, based in Vienna, Kraft's Mitchell said.
The headquarters of Mondelez will be in Deerfield, Illinois, outside Chicago, while the North American grocery business, to be named Kraft Foods Group Inc, will stay in the Chicago suburb of Northfield, location of the current headquarters.
Kraft shares were down 4 cents at $38.31 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday afternoon.
(Reporting by Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Lisa Von Ahn and Matthew Lewis)
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