June 6, 2012
The name comes from the Hillshire Farm brand that was acquired in 1971, which Sara Lee says represents the company's "ambitions for growing our portfolio of iconic brands in the future."
Meanwhile, the name Sara Lee will be maintained for the food service division as Sara Lee Foodservice.
As one would expect, the company will have a new visual identity for its "meat-centric brand and snack solutions."
Obviously the Sara Lee name meant "bakery" to many people, but the Hillshire Brands portfolio includes meat brands, such as Jummy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm and State Fair as well as two "artisan" brands: Aidells and Gallo.
Hillshire Farm was established in Wisconsin in 1934 by Friedrich (Fritz) Bernegger in New London, just northwest of Appleton. The name still stands for "quality, integrity and superior taste" according to Sara Lee.
This is not the first time Sara Lee has embraced a name change. The Sara Lee name dates back to 1939, but the name itself was changed in 1954 to Consolidated Foods, only to switch back in 1985 to Sara Lee.
I think this marks the beginning of the end for the Sara Lee name as we know it, ushering in a far more streamlined approach to a greatly transformed company. Yet, I am glad the Sara Lee name will remain in some capacity even if I am not expecting to see it on retail shelves anymore.
May 31, 2012
Ah, some names die ignoble deaths.
Take, for example, the fact that the FDA has just nixed the name "Corn Sugar" for High Fructose Corn Syrup.
The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) would like to see the Corn Sugar name as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) has such a bad rap.
I have been following this story since September 15, 2010 when I noted that HFCS is one of the biggest sources of calories in the American diet.
The rewards for a name change are obvious. Think about how much better Canola Oil sounds than Low Eurcic Acid Rapeseed Oil.
In 2011 I noted that the corn industry was slowly introducing the term into their ads and had created web sites like CornSugar.com and SweetSurprise.com. At that point the FDA warned that "It would be affirmatively misleading to change the name of the ingredient after all this time, especially in light of the controversy surrounding it... If we allow it, we will rightly be mocked both on the substance of the outcome and the process through which it was achieved."
The Sugar Association is loving this, with one lawyer in their camp saying bluntly "What's going on here is basically a con game to suggest otherwise... What do con men do? They normally try to change their name. The FDA has thankfully stopped that."
May 4, 2012
As many of you know, Kraft is splitting into two companies. The Nabisco brand will be a part of Mondelez International, a global snack business.
At the same time, the Fig Newtons product name will become just Newtons.
From the product's inception 1891 until 1914 the brand was called Newtons, named after the town of Newton, Massachusetts
This is another example of a product going back to the future while continuing to offer strawberry and raspberry and who knows, possibly trendy varieties like goji berries to antioxidant-filled pomegranates.
This is a wise attempt to make the Fig Newtons product more relevant to today's consumer.
The new Newtons ads are aimed at boomers with the munchies and not just kids - and offer us "Newtonisms" such as "Never beat around the bush -- you'll just squash the berries."
This reminds me of the Johnsonville Sausage campaign where they have Grillville, Summerville, Vacationville, etc.
Will consumers give a 'fig?' Long-term, probably not. Short-term, expect some Twitter grousing, followed by acceptance.
April 27, 2012
Sometimes it's easy to see real product naming problems.
Take, for example, the uproar around the genetically modified corn with the product name "Enlist," but known as "Agent Orange Corn" by its critics.
The genetically engineered corn is immune to a poison in 2,4-D that would be used for weed control.
The poison is perceived by activists as a key ingredient in Agent Orange, the poison that was dumped on hundreds of thousands of people during the Vietnam War and some say could pose a serious threat to human health and the environment.
Surely the new Enlist product name only encourages this connection?
This may be a chicken and egg scenario - the Enlist name existed before the Agent Orange Corn nickname was thought up. But there it is.
Dow AgroSciences wants to introduce the Enlist seeds to the market and if they do, we can be sure that 2,4-D will be extensively used to protect the corn.
But since 2,4-D has been known to harm human beings, causing everything from cancer to reproductive disorders, over 140 advocacy groups are participating in a letter-writing campaign to influence the government to reject Dow's regulatory application for the herbicide resistant crop.
But the corn doesn't seem to be the problem. It's the "drift" of the poison.
All I can say is that I really don't want to eat this corn on the cob on the 4th of July.
March 22, 2012
Kraft is splitting into two separate companies, one which will be for its North American grocery operations that will keep the Kraft Foods name, the other for its global snacking business which is being named Mondelēz International Inc (pronounced mohn-dah-LEEZ).
Said CEO Irene Rosenfeld at a recent press junket:
For the new global snacks company, we wanted to find a new name that could serve as an umbrella for our iconic brands, reinforce the truly global nature of this business and build on our higher purpose - to 'make today delicious.' Mondelēz perfectly captures the idea of a 'delicious world' and will serve as a solid foundation for the strong relationships we want to create with our consumers, customers, employees and shareholders.
In a Chicago Tribune article that covered both the Mondelēz company name, and the new Abbott spin-off company name of AbbVie, I shared some general observations on the challenges of creating new company names in the 20th Century.
Kraft executives explain that the Mondelēz name is a portmanteau that communicates the idea of a "delicious world" through the Latin word for "world" (Monde) and "delēz," which is a "fanciful expression of "delicious."
But some people are wondering if this isn't kind of confusing, with one observer saying it's "both difficult to say and to decipher the meaning."
The new name came from the suggestions of over a thousand Kraft employees around the world, and was created from two separate submissions - one from a North American employee and the other from a European employee.
For the Chicago Tribune article, I indicated that, "If it's in the dictionary, someone's thought of it. If it's close to a word in the dictionary, someone's thought of it. And if it has Greco-Roman roots, someone's thought about it. It doesn't leave you a lot to work with."
Anyway, consumers are interestingly resilient: They figured out Häagen-Dazs.June 2012 (1) May 2012 (2) April 2012 (1) March 2012 (1) February 2012 (2) November 2011 (2) September 2011 (5) August 2011 (5) July 2011 (1) May 2011 (1) April 2011 (3) March 2011 (2) February 2011 (2) January 2011 (4) November 2010 (3) October 2010 (3) August 2010 (1) May 2010 (2) April 2010 (3) March 2010 (1) February 2010 (3) November 2009 (2) October 2009 (4) September 2009 (6) July 2009 (2) June 2009 (2) May 2009 (1) April 2009 (4) March 2009 (4) February 2009 (1) January 2009 (1) December 2008 (1) November 2008 (3) October 2008 (1) September 2008 (1) August 2008 (4) July 2008 (1) June 2008 (1) May 2008 (4) April 2008 (3) March 2008 (5) February 2008 (2) January 2008 (2) December 2007 (3) November 2007 (3) October 2007 (3) September 2007 (4) August 2007 (3) July 2007 (5) June 2007 (2) May 2007 (5) April 2007 (2) March 2007 (5) February 2007 (2) January 2007 (1) November 2006 (2) October 2006 (3) September 2006 (7) August 2006 (4) July 2006 (4) June 2006 (3) May 2006 (6) April 2006 (7) March 2006 (3) February 2006 (2) January 2006 (1) December 2005 (1) November 2005 (1) October 2005 (2) August 2005 (2)