The Kraft brand split: Surviving brand mergers, acquisitions and divisions

image-1In September 2011, Kraft Foods CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, announced that the internationally recognized, household food brand would be splitting into two separate brands: the North American grocery brand (Kraft) and a global snack brand (Mondel?z). They had reached the point where North American grocery and global snacks would each benefit from standing on its own and focusing on its unique drives of success, Rosenfeld said. With grand goals to continue to grow each brand of products successfully, but individually, the marketing strategy for each brand requires a revitalization and more creative twist on the approach.

imageWhen experiencing brand transition, it’s important to hitch your wagon (and your budget) to the strongest products in your lineup and showcase them. Though both Kraft and Mondelez went through a serious product pruning, they kept their heavy-hitting brands, such as Kraft Mac & Cheese and Maxwell House and Oscar Mayer, and invested large amounts of their marketing budget and effort into those brands to continue not only the presence of the brand, but keep sales climbing upward.


A strong move that Mondel?z made in its separation from Kraft was to synergize two existing powerhouse brands: Oreo and Cadbury chocolate. Cross-marketing the pair gave European frontrunner, Nutella, a run for its money and continues to dominate the UK and German markets. Synergistic marketing tactics are a great way to capitalize on both markets and allow new, innovative product placement and use.

They’ve also incorporated crowdsourcing in their strategy: a popular way to utilize a target audience to help guide the development process of a marketing strategy with input from the audience. Mondel?z is currently using a teen audience in Europe to help design the marketing strategy for Twist Gum. This will ensure that the brand delivers exactly what teens want in a gum and overall, in a snack brand.

The merging and splitting process of a brand can be a tempestuous time for a brand. You don’t want to lose your audience, but need to change different aspects of the brand and the marketing strategy. As both Mondelez and Kraft continue to evolve their products and brands into something new, 2013 will sure be the year to watch them as they continue to dominate the grocery and snack brand market.

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