Kellogg has picked a name for its new spinoff companies. They sound a lot like their old names, but with a new spin.
The unit that houses its snacks, including Cheez-It and Pringles, plus its international cereal brands and plant-based foods will be called “Kellanova.” And its North American cereal business, which includes Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops, will be called “WK Kellogg Co.,” the company announced Wednesday.
Kellogg announced last year that it was splitting into three different companies to “better position each business to unlock its full potential.” However, it revealed last month that it wasn’t spinning off its plant-based foods unit, which includes MorningStar Farms brand, but housing it within its more profitable snacking business, “Kellanova.”
Kellogg explained the reasoning behind the more peculiar name, “Kellanova,” saying that the “Kell” part “overtly recognizes” its name to the former company, and “anova” combines the letter ‘a’ and the Latin word for new, “nova.” The logo features the recognizable “K” and a sassy, forward-pointing ‘v’ that signifies its “forward momentum as we embark on this next chapter,” said Steve Cahillane, the company’s future CEO in a press release.
As for “WK Kellogg Co.,” well, that’s a little more straight forward because its named after company founder William Keith Kellogg. However, they’ve ditched the periods in WK because it signals the “start of a new, unwritten chapter,” according to Gary Pilnick, the company’s new CEO.
The logo design is based off his signature and elevates the “Co.” because it’s “emphasizing our ambition as a 117-year-old start-up taking Mr. Kellogg’s original company to new height,” Pilnick said in the release.
Employees helped decide the names, Kellogg (K) said. Nearly 1,000 people submitted more than 4,000 names with about 20% of them suggestion a variation of “W.K. Kellogg (K)” and others that included a variation of the word “nova.”
Despite the silly sounding results, landing on a spinoff name is harder than it looks.
“It’s not easy to come up with new names,” said Bernd Schmitt, a professor of marketing at Columbia University and the faculty director of the Center on Global Brand Leadership, previously told CNN. “Many good names are already taken and protected by law.”
Over time, he said, even a name that may seem strange to consumers can be accepted and embraced. And, in this instance, people might not even notice the name because the Kellogg name and recognizable “K” will remain on its packaging.
Upon the separation set for later this year, both companies will be publicly traded. Kellanova is using the NYSE ticker symbol “K,” while ticker and exchange information about “WK Kellogg Co.” will be announced in the coming months.