Names of varieties


A name for all occasions

Whether ATTRAKTIVA, SHARKI or RONALDINIO – all KWS varieties are given their own name. The process for that is complex. We reveal how corn, cereals and sugarbeet get their international names.

Quite a bit of time usually passes before our varieties go on sale. That is because breeding progress is a decisive factor for approval – the traits of a product must differ from previous varieties and be novel. To ensure that a new variety is also marketed as best possible, a team from several departments works intensively on suggesting the perfect name for it. After all, finding a good name is not that easy – ideally, it should evoke positive associations, be easy to remember, and highlight the product’s best properties.


Anyone who first thinks of rousing pop songs when they hear “Shakira” may not be familiar with our sugarbeet variety of the same name. It was a hit on the market for a long time and was even sent to customers together with a CD by the singer when it was launched. Friederike Philipps from Sugarbeet Marketing collects names ending in “a” for the new KWS varieties all year round. Whether royal children, names from ads or the credits of a movie, or even positive adjectives: That’s how varieties like MARABELLA, GENEROSA or TALENTINA end up getting their name. The challenge: A name is sometimes found in the first year of testing, but mostly after that. If a variety does not deliver the desired performance, the name used for it is dropped and may then normally be used again only after 10 or 12 years. Names that sound too similar to others are also taboo – a new one must differ from any existing name by at least two letters. |


Breeders at the Business Unit Cereals have to be creative, given that there are a particularly large number of varieties that need a suitable name. The suggestions from the breeders are checked in Registration Management by means of a database query and with the involvement of international colleagues to ensure the usability of a name in several languages. Subsequently, the suggestions are analysed for marketing aspects - because many names require a special inventive talent.

Since February 2023, for example, all wheat names have ended in “e” – varieties such as IMPERIUM were previously a “galactic” hit in this regard. There have also been some changes in relation to barley: The names of varieties currently end in “is” (like MORRIS or EXQUIS), while future hybrid barleys will have “ys” at the end. There used to be names like FLEMMING or ORBIT, which were naturally high-quality varieties, too. There is a real surge in rye varieties ending in “or” (such as EMPHOR, ROTOR and TUTOR). However, anyone wanting high grain yield and early maturity in sorghum should take a closer look at LUPUS – the plant not only emerges at full moon, but (like all millet varieties at KWS) ends in “us.” Those who don’t want to search long and hard will find what they desire in the pea variety KAMELEON – small, but with a fantastic grain yield. And another special highlight is the high-yielding wheat variety SHARKI – for that special bite. |


Charlotte Ohlms, Project Manager in Corn Marketing, has a list of over 500 names for new corn varieties. Well-known varieties such as EMPORIO, BENEDICTIO and EDITIO have been given their names with the help of the list. It is important for corn varieties to end in “o.” Here, too, the Marketing team coordinates closely with the respective countries, which submit three favorites, which they either pick from the list or come up with themselves. That is followed by an examination of whether the names are apt and are still officially available or whether, for example, a competitor is already using a similar name.

Then comes the final agreement process before the names are submitted in the respective country. For each suggestion, there is at least one reserve name that is used if a local public authority rejects the original name. That was fortunately not necessary for the variety RONALDINIO. It was so innovative in Italy that it lent its name to an entire product group. The “Team RONALDINIO” consisted of exceptionally early corn varieties with high yields. RONALDINIO itself is no longer an innovation, but still a constant “team player” in our portfolio – versatile, robust and not afraid of any transfer. The corn is suitable for many locations. |

From the idea to the name of a variety

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