Today was the day. It’s the Kraft Foods’ Annual Shareholder Meeting, and among the many things discussed was the new name of the brand’s global snacks business. The name on the table: Mondelez International Inc. The name has been a target for criticism since the moment it was trotted out of the gate, leading some to wonder if they’d need to head back to the drawing board after today. But the name has, in fact, stuck firmly like two pieces of grilled, buttered bread held together by slices of gooey Kraft Singles*: according to reports, over 90 percent of shareholders gave Mondelez International their vote of confidence. Mondelez International it is.
Is it a surprise? Yes and no. Kraft Foods put a lot of hard work into the name, launching a company-wide contest and rewarding two employees for their suggestions. The company has expressed a lot of excitement about the name, which is a portmanteau of “monde” (Latin for “world”) and slang for delicious.
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But on the other hand, there was all that criticism. The New York Post’s reaction was like a double spit take in headline form (“MONDEWHAAAAT?”) while Chicago Business snickered about dirty double meanings. There’s also been some puzzlement over how to pronounce it – that much is made apparent in the fact that nearly every report makes a point to note that it’s pronounced “mohn-dah-LEEZ,” guys, not “mohn-deh-LEHHHZ.” While incredulousness can be (and was) taken in stride, technical points like that suggested a major roadblock – it’s no secret that it’s harder to build your brand when consumers aren’t even sure how to say your name.
But all of that speculation is now for naught. Mondelez is in, and we’ll be frank: we don’t hate it as much as some. As we’ve said before, the concept itself is a good fit for capturing the company’s aims of tasty food and a better world. Sure, the word itself reminds us a little too much of Vandelay Industries for some reason, but that’s neither here nor there.
It’s true that it doesn’t have the iconic punch of Kraft. In one syllable, a consumer knows what to expect from Kraft, and that split would be hard for any business to overcome. But that’s what happens when a business splits, and we think everyone is going to come out of this just fine. After all, critics can say what they want but it all comes down to consumers. We don’t think anyone is going to kick an Oreo or a Nabisco Nilla Wafer out of bed because it was distributed by Mondelez International and not Kraft Foods. So mazel tov, Mondelez! Get out there with your sassy new purple and red logo, and take that delicious world by storm.
*Those will, thankfully, remain forever Kraft as they reside in the brand’s North American grocery business and not the global snacks side.
[SOURCE: Washington Post]