When doing good turns bad.

Published on July 22, 2020

Brands are allies in the lives of consumers. And consumers expect brands to know their values and even share them. This is one way to explain why Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue received such backlash recently, when he expressed his personal, positive opinion on the qualities of President Trump as a leader. Goya Foods, which is a staple product in many Hispanic kitchen pantries, had intended to make big news about their very generous food donation, but was suddenly thrust into a frenzy of calls for boycotts because of Unanue’s remarks. In 24 hours, #Goyaway had been seen by about 419 million people and the term ‘Boycott Goya’ reached 1.4 billion people in three days.

This was a costly example of how in today’s highly stressed and volatile political environment, people are especially sensitive to what brands say and do. Until this week, the majority of its customers probably did not even know the name of the Goya Foods CEO, however, his comments have caused its core consumers to question their familiar beloved brand.

Christina Borrego, RIESTER’s Executive Director of Multicultural Services and Public Relations spent some time with PBS discussing why this 80-year old food brand is so special to consumers, and if Unanue’s defense of his right to the ‘first amendment’ is applicable in this situation.