Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
- Kellogg is renaming its snack business “Kellanova” — a combo of Kellogg and a Latin word for “new.”
- Companies making everything from cars to cigarettes have leaned on other languages to name themselves.
- From Pandora to Altria, here’s a rundown of company names with unusual origins.
A mythical land in a fantasy novel? Your uncle trying to name the college basketball team that just got eliminated from March Madness?
No, it’s the new name for one of the world’s largest food companies.
Kellogg is naming its snacking division “Kellanova,” the latest step in breaking up the company, it said on Wednesday.
The new company will include Pringles, Pop-Tarts, and Cheez-It crackers. Kellanova will also include frozen and refrigerated foods such as plant-based brand Incogmeato and foreign cereal products such as Coco Pops, which is sold in the UK.
The name draws inspiration from the Kellogg name and a common Latin word, Kellogg CEO Steve Cahillane said in a statement.
“The ‘Kell’ overtly recognizes our enduring connection to Kellogg Company, while ‘anova,’ which combines ‘a’ and the Latin word ‘nova,’ meaning ‘new,’ signals our ambition to continuously evolve as an innovative, next generation, global snacking powerhouse,” said Cahillane, who is slated to become the CEO of Kellanova.
The new company’s logo uses the curvy letter “K” that Kellogg has used for decades, Cahillane said. It also features a lower-case “v” with a curved right side that “embodies our forward momentum as we embark on this next chapter,” he said.
Cereal brands such as Special K, Froot Loops, and Rice Krsipies will be managed by a separate company called WK Kellogg Co. The company will focus on sales in North America, Kellogg said.
Packages for both companies’ products will retain the “Kellogg’s” name, according to the announcement. The new names are the latest phase in the breakup of food giant Kellogg. The process started last summer when Kellogg said it would divide itself into three separate companies: One focused on snacks, one focused on cereal, and a third on its plant-based brands. Since then, Kellogg has decided to split into just two businesses.
Etsy and Mondelez are among other companies with Latin names
Kellanova is hardly the first company rebrand to draw inspiration from Latin.
Automakers Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group combined in 2020 under the name “Stellantis,” CNBC reported at the time. The title was based on the Latin verb “stello,” or “to brighten with stars,” and, according to the company, was a reference to the well-known car brands that the merger brought together, including Jeep and Alfa Romeo.
Etsy founder and CEO Robert Kalin named the online marketplace after watching an Italian movie and hearing the phrase “etsi.” In Italian, the word means “oh yes,” and it in Latin, it means “and if,” Kalin told Reader’s Digest in 2012.
There are also examples from big consumer brands. When Kraft Foods spun off some of its snack brands in 2012, the new company chose the name “Mondelez,” based on the Latin word for “world,” the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.
Before that, cigarette maker Philip Morris said it would change its name to “Altria” in an allusion to the Latin word for “high,” the Journal reported in 2001.
Of course, other companies have considered well-known English words when naming their companies.
Twitter’s founders initially considered calling the company “Status” or “Twitch.” They picked “Twitter” after looking for related words in the dictionary.
Steve Jobs decided to call his company “Apple Computer” while driving on a highway between Palo Alto and Los Altos, fellow co-founder Steve Wozniak said, according to Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colorful Company.
But there’s at least one downside to a typical English word. “I thought instantly, ‘We’re going to have a lot of copyright problems,'” Wozniak said.