The CEO of food company Goya, Robert Unanue found himself in a tough spot after expressing his views about US President Donald Trump. As a result, a strong backlash from Latino families in the country is boycotting Goya products and finding alternatives to their beans, seasoning, and other products.
Unanue visited the White House on Thursday to meet President Trump. Standing beside him in the Rose Garden, Goya CEO praised Trump.
"We are all truly blessed ... to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder. We have an incredible builder, and we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president," Unanue said during his speech.
Shortly after that, #BoycottGoya, #GoyaFoods and #Goyaway started trending on social media platforms. Many opposition leaders also joined the call for boycott, including former Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Castro acknowledged how Goya Foods are a "staple" in many Latino households for generations. The reason for the backlash is due to Trump's villainous and malicious views about Latinos for his political gain, Castro noted.
Hispanic Americans have favored their votes towards VP Joe Biden. And a lot of it has to do with Trump criticizing Mexican immigrants for being "rapists" and bringing drugs into the United States. But Trump wanted to make peace with the Hispanic community through his Hispanic Prosperity Initiative for his political campaign, hence invited Goya's CEO to the White House.
Who is Goya CEO Robert Unanue?
Robert Unanue is the grandson of the company's founder. He has primarily supported Republicans through donations. The 66-year-old businessman is the eldest of six children, three brothers who are a part of the family business. Peter Unanue, the brother, serves as vice president of Goya and another brother Tom Unanue looks after the Florida operations.
Robert "Bob" Unanue graduated from Merrimack College near Boston, and he had his own career choices before taking over Goya. He bought a restaurant in the 90s in New Jersey after his college and built it in the 1950s-style. Robert then left his restaurant business to join Goya Foods and looked after Goya's facilities in Puerto Rico, California, Florida, and Spain before becoming the company's CEO and President.
What are Goya Food products?
Goya Foods was founded in 1936 in Manhattan. Founded by two immigrants from Spain, Prudencio Unanue and his wife Carolina, the business has remained in the family as it witnessed its expansion over the decades. The company prides itself as the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States.
Goya sells a wide range of food products, including seasonings, cooking oils, beans, frozen products and snacks. There are over 2,500 offerings under the brand. According to a report on Hispanic consumer trends by the data analytics company Nielsen, Goya Foods is expected to reach $1.9 trillion in 2023