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Post-Kraft Spinoff, Mondelēz To Enliven Young, Global Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on April 6, 2012 12:58 PM

Remember all that stuffy marketing from Kraft brands like Oreo, Trident and Tang? Well, once the newly named Mondelēz unit gets its freedom from Kraft in a spinoff of the company's fast-growing, internationally oriented snacks business, expect the marketing chiefs to push the envelope.

The brands to be deposited into Mondelēz — including the aforementioned Oreo, Trident and Tang — "tend to have a younger, vibrant appeal that allow us to push the edge of the marketing much further than some of the classic, traditional, more Midwestern-focused brands," said Mary Beth West, Kraft's chief marketing officer, in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. "That's not a value judgment," she insisted.

But West herself does plan to leave "Midwest" parent company Kraft Foods — based in Northfield, Ill. — to join Mondelēz. And she will be taking Dana Anderson, Kraft Foods SVP of marketing strategy and communications to join Kraft Foods CEO Irene Rosenfeld, who is also decamping to Mondelēz.

While West has been credited with modernizing Kraft's marketing in her five years as CMO at the old company, it sounds like she's got plans to get edgier at Mondelēz.

"These brands live in a different space with consumers," West said. "And it's a space that's a little more open and flexible with how far we can push it." Mondelēz brands like Oreo are truly global marquees, and West and her cohorts try new approaches tailored to different national markets.

But don't be concerned that the old Kraft Foods will be bereft of iconic brand names — or growth. Maxwell House, Jello and Planters will be among its remaining stable of North American grocery brands. So will some popular beverage brands such as Crystal Light, and one recently introduced, fast-growing brand: MiO drink powders.

If the pending split works out as it's supposed to, both the old and new companies will have plenty of growth on the horizon.

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