For the past 84 years, the Goya brand has been a staple of Latino households. But those days may be over thanks to its CEO and Trump.
President Donald Trump has made some attempts to reach the Latino community, but they didn’t go as well as he may have expected. This week, Trump met with Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to discuss the economy, trade, and immigration. López Obrador was met with mixed reactions from Mexicans, and Mexican Americans outside of the White House. Some Latinos expressed frustration saying that López Obrador did not stand up to Trump during their meeting.
Yesterday, Trump signed an Executive Order on the “White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative” that calls for an improvement of Latinos’ educational and economic opportunities. But the real shakedown came when Trump introduced Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue to speak.
WATCH: CEO of Goya Has Come Under Fire for Praising Trump
In his speech, the CEO of the famous household brand said: “We’re all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder, and that’s what my grandfather did,” the executive said. “He came to this country to build, to grow, to prosper. And so we have an incredible builder, and we pray for our leadership, our president, and we pray for our country that we will continue to prosper and to grow.”
For Latinos, hearing the words “truly blessed” and Trump in the same sentence caused a firestorm on social media. Soon the hashtags #boycottgoya and #Goyaway started trending on Twitter. Latinos were dismayed that the president of one of the most beloved Hispanic food brands would have to be replaced.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling ‘how to make your own Adobo.'” She then added a recipe on how to make adobo from scratch, implying Latinos should stop buying one of the best sellers for Goya.
Former presidential candidate Julián Castro tweeted, “Goya has been a staple of so many Latino households for generations. Now their CEO, Bob Unanue, is praising a president who villainizes and maliciously attacks Latinos for political gain. Americans should think twice before buying their products. #Goyaway.”
Latinos chimed in to ask for ways to replace Goya and to support small businesses that make similar products.
“I won’t buy their products. I guess Bob Unanue doesn’t consider himself Hispanic,” a commentator tweeted. “Or hates people from Latin America. My mother’s parents both trace their lineage back to Spain. Their families have been in Colombia for several generations.”
Goya Foods, Inc. is a private company that was founded more than 84 years ago with facilities all over the world, including in the U.S. Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Spain. The first store opened in 1936 in Lower Manhattan by Prudencio Unanue and his wife, Carolina immigrants from Spain.
Goya’s products, from spices to beans, rice, and more, have always been signature items in Latino households, but after Unanue’s comments, Latinos vow never to use Goya products again.
Puerto Rican chef and entrepreneur based in Seattle tweeted that he has been “waiting for this moment” his entire life. “I make sazón and I’m not a Trump supporter. If you support Goya you support Trump. We have sazón, spicy sazón, and saffron sazón. We sell in bulk as well as these four-ounce tins.”
Political commentator Ana Navarro-Cárdenas told her followers they shouldn’t throw away their Goya products but instead donate them to local food pantries.
“We’re all free to do w/our frijoles as we wish, but if you’re gonna #boycottgoya, pls don’t throw products in the trash. Donate the products to a food bank. And if you choose, u can replace your adobo with @badiaspices, Conchita, Iberia, Diana….many alternatives in the market.”
Unanue responded this morning about the backlash on Fox News and said he would not apologize for the comments he made at the White House.