Customers Are Boycotting Goya Foods After The Company’s CEO Openly Praised Trump

Elly Belle

Goya, a popular food brand known as the premier source for authentic Latinx food, has been trending on Twitter since yesterday — but not in a good way. After Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue spoke at the White House Rose Garden on Thursday afternoon and praised President Donald Trump, loyal customers of the brand created the hashtag #Goyaway.

During a gathering for the launch of the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative on Thursday, President Trump signed an executive order to expand “efforts across all the federal government to deliver educational and economic opportunity for Hispanic Americans.” Trump honored Unanue, whose grandfather founded Goya, by appointing him one of the leaders of the initiative. 

“We are all truly blessed to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder. And that’s what my grandfather did, he came to this country to build, to grow, to prosper, and so we have an incredible builder, and we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president,” Unanue said during his speech. Trump, who was standing several feet away from him, seemed pleased with the praise and thanked him afterwards. 

This led to particular online backlash against the company from their supporters in the Latinx community. Goya Foods is the largest Hispanic food company in the United States and was founded in 1936 by Don Prudencio Unanue and his wife Carolina, who both came from Spain. It has always been considered a family company and a staple brand in many Latinx households.

Despite the fact that Unanue announced that the corporation would be donating 1 million cans of Goya chickpeas and a million pounds of food to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic during that same speech, customers have responded to the CEO’s pro-Trump remarks by promising to stop buying the company’s products altogether. 

Julián Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development Secretary, tweeted his disappointment and called for people to boycott, saying, “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.” 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also quote-tweeted Unanue’s comments, saying, “Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling ‘how to make your own Adobo.’” 

Major constituents in the community have rebuked Unanue’s speech, too. United We Dream (UWD), an organization that serves young immigrants, also tweeted that it supports boycotting Goya for working with the White House, and started a petition for people to sign. “We don’t support companies who endorse and comply with a White Supremacist regime. Under capitalism, know the power of the dollar in their eyes. We’re using it to make a statement,” UWD said.

This response comes as little surprise given Trump’s track record with attacking the Latinx community. The president began his 2016 campaign by calling Mexicans “rapists” and saying that they bring drugs into the United States, and has spent the last several years working to build a wall at the Southern United States border, perpetuating heavy anti-immigrant rhetoric. In addition, he’s continued to separate children from their parents at the border.

For Goya’s once-loyal customers who have been affected by Trump’s cruel policies and attacks on the Latinx community, there’s no way to support the brand now in good conscience. Refusing to buy Goya products, however, is an act of protest against the harm done by the administration.

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

What It Means When Brands Boycott Social Media Ads

Why Harvard & MIT Are Suing Trump

The Chaotic Beauty Of A Latinx Family Group Chat

More From

  • WNBA Players Are Protesting Against This Republican Senator — & For Good Reason

    As players from across professional sports participate in league-approved protests, like wearing “Black Lives Matter” or “Equality” on the back of their uniforms or kneeling before the anthem, the WNBA is escalating matter by directly targeting the owner of one of the league’s teams: Republican Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who is an owner of the Atlanta Dream and running for re-election in November. On Tuesday, players from teams across the league, including the Dream, showed up to their games wearing shirts that said “Vote Warnock” — as in Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, the Democrat running against Loeffler for her Senate seat.“The truth is, we need less — not more politics in sports,” Loeffler wrote. Last week, Loeffler also gave an interview to host Jack Posobiec, coming out even more strongly against the Black Lives Matter movement. “I felt some of the recent actions that the league has taken has really moved to divide us further at this moment when I think sports could be such a powerful, uniting force for our country,” she told Posobiec in the interview. Loeffler has also repeatedly used racist language by calling Black people open-carrying “mob rule” and referring to people in support of the movement for Black lives a “woke mob.”The WNBA is over 80 percent Black, and its players have been advocates for social justice for a very long time. After the league announced they were dedicating their season to Black Lives Matter and SayHerName, Loeffler penned a letter to league Commissioner Cathy Engelbert urging her to scrap those plans and focus instead on the imagery of American flags. Following these incidents in defiance of the entire Black Lives Matter movement from Loeffler and her campaign, several players took to Twitter calling on the league to eject her from ownership. “Kelly Loeffler is the anti-movement. She represents what happens when people choose the identity of whiteness over everything else,” New York Liberty player Layshia Clarendon wrote for The Undefeated. “She was OK with owning our team. She was OK with having players who spoke out, like I have, but she is not OK with us gaining this momentum and power.” But, after Engelbert said they wouldn’t force Loeffler to sell, players took matters into their own hands, donning shirts to endorse Loeffler’s opponent. The idea for the shirts originated with Seattle Storm veteran and 11-time WNBA All-Star Sue Bird. Coaches were made aware of the action beforehand, but it is unclear whether Dream co-owner Mary Brock was. Before endorsing Warnock, players had several Zoom calls with him to ensure he was someone whose policies they could get behind. “He’s pro reproductive rights, for criminal justice reform, and pro LGBTQ+ rights,” Clarendon tweeted.> I am honored and humbled by the overwhelming support from the @WNBA players. This movement gives us the opportunity to fight for what we believe in, and I stand by all athletes promoting social justice on and off the court. BlackLivesMatter> > — Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) August 4, 2020“When we realized what our owner was doing and how she was kind of using us and the Black Lives Matter movement for her political gain, we felt like we didn’t want to feel kind of lost as the pawns in this,” Elizabeth Williams, who has played for the Dream since 2016, told the New York Times.Loeffler responded by calling the players’ actions “more proof that the out of control cancel culture wants to shut out anyone who disagrees with them,” ironically accusing the players of being “more interested in playing politics than basketball.”Loeffler is running in a November special election against 20 candidates to keep her Senate seat, which she was appointed to last year after Johnny Isakson stepped down due to health problems. Her main competition is actually the other Republican fighting for the seat, Doug Collins, and the two have been vying to make themselves the most obviously pro-Trump; Collins has used Loeffler’s ownership of the Dream against her, pointing out that the WNBA partnered with Planned Parenthood and using that fact to paint Loeffler as “pro abortion.”A poll last week showed Loeffler leading Collins with 26 percent of the vote to his 20 percent; Warnock is polling with just 9 percent of the vote, but the WNBA plans to continue campaigning for him throughout the coming weeks. > You can’t tell us to stick to sports while a sitting senator owns one of our teams! 🙄 It’s one thing to sell a team, it’s another thing to flip a senate senate seat. @RevWarnock is the democratic candidate running for senate in Georgia. pic.twitter.com/PGEWuGZUlf> > — Layshia Clarendon (@Layshiac) August 5, 2020It is unclear whether the league will reprimand the players for their action; in 2017, when players wore “Black Lives Matter” shirts during warmups, they were fined for violating the league’s uniform policy, which they then protested with post-game media blackouts.But this action — of players openly campaigning against their owner — is an unprecedented example of the kind of collective labor power that athletes have but so rarely come together to use. The women of the WNBA are doing just that — another example of women, and Black women in particular, being at the forefront of justice movements and paving the way for everyone else. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Idaho Is In A Legal Battle To Block Trans AthletesWomen Athletes Are On The Frontlines Of ProtestsUSAG's Reckoning Isn't Over, Athlete A Reveals

  • Alicia Keys Is Officially Launching A Beauty Brand

    Alicia Keys’ naturally glowy complexion has always made us wonder what beauty products the singer-songwriter has in rotation, even before she first committed to going without makeup in 2016. Now, Keys’ dedication to the beauty revolution is going one step further with the upcoming launch of a lifestyle beauty brand, announced today in conjunction with e.l.f. Beauty.Not to be mistaken for a collaboration, Keys will be launching her very own brand under the e.l.f. Beauty portfolio, which acquired W3LL People earlier this year. The company dropped the news today, revealing that the line is expected to launch in 2021. “We are beyond thrilled to leverage our strengths to help realize Alicia’s vision, as it not only aligns with our mission to make the best of beauty accessible but infuses it with an even deeper dimension,” said Tarang Amin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, e.l.f. Beauty, in a press statement. While we don’t know the specific categories Keys will be entering or the name of the brand just yet, we do know that the formulations will be dermatologist-developed and cruelty-free, according to the company. The fact that it’s operating under the e.l.f. umbrella might also suggest that the prices will be wallet-friendly, like the company’s two other brands.Keys’ new venture will also have a lifestyle component, as the press release explains: “A culmination of Keys’ personal skincare journey and her passion for bringing light into the world, this new lifestyle beauty brand will enable Alicia to further explore conversations about inner beauty, wellness and connection…. The brand aims to bring new meaning to beauty by honoring ritual in our daily life and practicing intention in every action.” Keys hasn’t officially spoken out about the announcement, but we’re eagerly awaiting product specifics — and following the news closely for more updates in the future.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

  • The Lincoln Project Isn’t Good For America — It’s Only Good For Self-Pitying Republicans

    In an era where our country is divided at historically high levels, there seems to be one thing that draws people in across party lines, across generations, and larger political beliefs – voting Donald Trump out of office. On Wednesday, social media campaign LincolnVoter trended on Twitter as hoards of people started sharing their stories of switching their vote from Republican to Democrat. “Converts” converged to open up about what made them switch. “I left the party when Trump was nominated,” one person wrote. “I’m 50 and have never voted for a Democrat as president…until this year,” tweeted another. As the hashtag began garnering a massive amount of support from supposed Republicans who are “switching” their votes in the 2020 election to endorse Joe Biden, questions amounted about the Lincoln Project and what their motivations are. Particularly, is the Lincoln Project here to create actual political change in America that will benefit the masses, or is it a bunch of Republicans throwing themselves a pity party? Let’s investigate.The Lincoln Project is a conservative super PAC that aims to “defeat President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box” in 2020, according to FactCheck.org. In the words of its founders, the organization draws its inspiration from the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, who “understood the necessity of not just saving the Union, but also of knitting the nation back together spiritually as well as politically.” The Lincoln Project presents “sectionalism in the country and factionalism in government” as the source of the problem and voting out Trump as the solution. “Only defeating so polarizing a character as Trump will allow the country to heal its political and psychological wounds and allow for a new, better path forward for all Americans,” reads the Lincoln Project’s website. Its mission statement continues by saying that the organization’s founders still maintain policy differences with national Democrats, but it is committed to defeating candidates who do not honor constitutional oaths, regardless of party affiliation. Basically, they would rather disagree over policy than keep someone in office that they believe does not act according to the pledges the United States makes to its residents.The group of eight founders, including White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband George Conway, is largely made up of political strategists, communications consultants, and state-level Republican party positions. As a super PAC, the Lincoln Project can accept unlimited contributions and counts billionaire hedge fund manager Stephen Mandel Jr., film studio executive David Geffen, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist Michael Moritz among its list of donors. Because of its status, it cannot coordinate with campaigns on its independent expenditures. So why would an organization made up of Republicans want to get voters to support a Democratic candidate? They hope to appeal to Trump-skeptical conservatives who might respond to ads mirroring Republican language and iconography. In an interview with Vox, Lincoln Project communications director Keith Edwards said the project had no plans beyond defeating Trump. “We are focused [on] making sure Trump is a one-term president and ensuring Biden takes the oath of office in January. We’re not thinking of anything beyond that.” Emphasis on: “We’re not thinking of anything beyond that.”With campaign operatives possessing deep ties to the pre-Trump GOP, many are wary — and for good reason. Lincoln Project board members worked on campaigns for George H. W. Bush as well as George W. Bush. Both of those campaigns used the same fear-mongering ad tactics used by Trump’s campaign that the Lincoln Project now appears to detest. So, prior to wanting Trump out of office, board members used strategies that look very similar to those that Trump is using to get reelected, and used them to push largely Republican agendas.Another criticism of the organization is that much of the millions it has raised reportedly goes toward high ad production costs and firms run by members of the Lincoln Project’s board. According to Open Secrets, the Lincoln Project spent $1.4 million in March 2020. Almost all of that went to the group’s board members and firms run by them. Little is spent on direct political activity.But perhaps the most baffling part of the Lincoln Project, and their campaign for LincolnVoters, is the masquerade that the super PAC is suddenly promoting a Democratic agenda. But they are not: While their motives might seem unclear to the naked Twitter onlooker, this is a classic case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The group’s support of candidates who oppose values often rooted in Democratic policies, like abortion or reproductive rights, is storied. Now, they are trying to turn voters by using those same values against them.“This is about doing the right thing for our country and that goes back to embracing Biblical principles, such as loving and caring for each other,” Sarah Lenti, executive director at the Lincoln Project told Politico.The group, in truth, is interested in ousting Trump, which appeals to both party lines in a seemingly unifying way. But the motivation behind LincolnVoters seems more self-serving for the project itself: They are promoting a right wing platform under the guise of a Democratic endorsement for Joe Biden, which comes across as self-congratulatory for Republicans that have long-opposed (and still oppose) progressive policies, but just happen to dislike our current president in all his ineptitude. It’s also become a space on Twitter for “Republicans” (in truth, we don’t know who these tweeters really are) to pity themselves for having a party leader like Trump, and explain away their motives for voting differently this election.I digress, the nearly 20k tweets in support of switching votes from Republican to Democrat gives us all some hope in these TryingTimes. But it can also be an illusion that will entice fewer people to vote come in the general election if there’s a wide belief that Biden has this one in the bag (remember 2016?). So, just because it seems like fewer people are voting for Trump now, don’t be fooled into thinking you don’t need to vote. Every vote counts!Refinery29 reached out to the Lincoln Project for comment.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Republicans Are Using COVID To Try To Ban ProtestsKellyanne Conway's Husband Is Trying To Oust TrumpIs Trump's Administration Violating The Hatch Act?

  • Our Favorite Online Haunts For Scoring Affordable Art

    It's the year 2003: you've just settled in for an evening spent chatting on AIM while listening to a newly-burnt CD and the space surrounding you is drenched in pop-culture paraphernalia. Back in our teenage heyday, bedrooms were a private sanctuary where no wall was left uncovered by Titanic-era Leonardo DiCaprio posters and artwork from Destiny’s Child Survivor album. And while we've undergone more than a few changes since then, our walls are still prime real estate for personal expression — only now we're filling them with a little less hormonally-charged angst and a lot more artistic vision. House plants breathe life into your home and nifty storage sets can keep it looking streamlined, but investing in wall art is what will really make a place feel like your own. Whether you're renting a first apartment with roomies or you're solo settled in more permanent digs, giving your living space a little piece of personal style goes a long way: for contemporary aesthetic enthusiasts, consider an abstract print that can easily be mounted on the wall; if you’ve got more of a free-spirited approach to interior design, macramé wall hangings can be added above your sofa or reading nook for a dreamy boho vibe; you can even recycle vintage posters by dressing them up in a simple, sleek frame (it's time to step away from the Blu Tack). The best part about this category of home decor is that it doesn't have to cost the big bucks — and we've lined up all of the sites where you can score unique and within-budget artwork to prove it ahead. Be sure to check out our guide to buying and styling affordable art for your home, too! At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?37 Clever Items That Will Open Up Your Small SpaceThese Tiny Desks Are WFH Space SaviorsAn Expert Guide To Affordable Art