Goya Foods, Inc. is a producer of a brand of foods sold in the United States and many Spanish-speaking countries. It has facilities in the United States (including Puerto Rico), the Dominican Republic and Spain. It is under third-generation ownership of the Spanish-American Unanue family, and is headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey.[1]

Goya Foods, Inc.
Company typePrivate
IndustryFood industry
Founded1936; 88 years ago (1936) in New York City, United States
FoundersPrudencio Unanue Ortiz
United States
Area served
United States
Dominican Republic
Key people
Robert Unanue (CEO)
ProductsSpanish and Latin American cuisine
Revenue$1.5 billion
OwnerUnanue Family
Number of employees

History edit

Don Prudencio Unanue and wife[2]

Goya Foods was founded in 1933[3] (some sources claim 1936[4]), by Prudencio Unanue Ortiz (1886–1976) from Valle de Mena, Spain. Prudencio immigrated to Puerto Rico, where he met and married Carolina Casal (1890–1984), also a Spanish immigrant; they later moved to New York City.[5] The family had originally opened a small store called "Unanue and Sons" in 1922; however, it was converted to wholesale in the mid 1930s.[6] Prudencio purchased the "Goya" name from a Moroccan sardine company because he believed that his last name was too difficult to pronounce for American customers and also liked the association to Spanish artist Francisco Goya.[7][8]

When Prudencio Unanue died in 1976, he left Goya to his sons, Joseph, Charles, Francisco and Anthony.[9] Upon his father's death, Joseph A. Unanue became chief executive of Goya, then a fairly small, $8.5 million company.[10] As president and chief executive of the company, Joseph shared control with his brother Francisco, who served as president of Goya de Puerto Rico Inc., responsible for much of the company's manufacturing operations.[11] Joseph A. Unanue's son, Joseph F. Unanue, was general manager and vice president of Goya de Puerto Rico from 1989 to 1996, when he became executive vice president at the company's New Jersey, assuming the No. 2 position in the company; he died two years later.[11]

During Joseph A. Unanue's decades at the head of the company, Goya grew to become a major corporation.[10] By 1998, the company produced about 800 food items (including rice, beans, sauces, and spices), had 2,000 employees, and about $700 million in revenue.[11] Joseph A. Unanue was ousted from his position as Goya chairman and CEO in 2004, amid a feud in the Unanue family about the direction of the company.[9][12][10] At the time of Joseph A. Unanue's ouster, Goya was generating from $750 million,[12] to more than $1 billion in revenue.[9] Joseph's son Andy Unanue, the chief operating officer of the company, also left Goya amid the disagreement,[9][13] prompting litigation.[13] Robert Unanue and his cousin Francisco Unanue made the decision to remove Andy, who had previously been considered the "heir apparent" to Goya.[10] Joseph Unanue retained a significant stake in the company, and retained a seat on its board; he died in 2013.[9] Robert Unanue has been the chief executive since 2004.[14] The fracturing of Goya's ownership among its founders' descendants has frequently led to disputes about the company's strategy.[14]

In 2012, the company began construction on a $127 million distribution center in the industrial Meadowlands area of Jersey City, backed by state tax incentives that aided the company in its move from Secaucus to the Jersey City site.[15]

In 2019, Goya had talks with The Carlyle Group about a possible buyout; the company ultimately decided not to sell itself to The Carlyle Group.[16][17]

Description edit

Goya yellow split peas

Goya manufactures and distributes products from the Spanish, Puerto Rican, Caribbean, Mexican, Cuban and Central and South American cuisine. Their products are sold in stores and supermarket chains throughout the United States (including Puerto Rico) and international markets. In 2006, Forbes ranked Goya 355th on its list of the largest private companies in the United States.[18][19]

Between 2014 and 2016 Goya opened five new facilities including manufacturing and distribution centers located in New Jersey, Texas, California, and Georgia to meet rising consumer demand. Currently, Goya Foods is headquartered on a 40-acre (16 ha) lot in Jersey City, New Jersey.[20] Goya also operates a manufacturing facility in San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic, and a distribution center in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.[citation needed]

Corporate affairs edit

Goya Gives edit

"Goya Gives" is a program to support various charities, scholarships, and events, and includes donations of products to food shelters and food banks during times of crisis, such as Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.[21] In March and April 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Goya donated over 300,000 pounds (140,000 kg) of food, or about 270,000 meals, to food banks and other organizations in the United States, and also donated more than 20,000 protective masks.[22]

MyPlate/MiPlato campaign edit

In 2012, the company joined First Lady Michelle Obama's "My Plate" healthy eating initiative.[23]

President Trump comments edit

President Donald J. Trump advertising Goya products on the Resolute desk in the White House on July 15, 2020

On July 9, 2020, at a White House roundtable discussion of the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative with President Donald Trump, Goya Foods co-owner and CEO Robert Unanue praised Trump, saying the country was "truly blessed [...] to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder" and adding, "we have an incredible builder and we pray, we pray for our leadership, our president and for our country, that we continue to prosper and to grow."[24]

Unanue's comments prompted a call for a public boycott on social media, which was supported by various Latino public figures, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Julian Castro and Lin-Manuel Miranda.[25][26][27][28] In response, Unanue stated the next day that this was a "suppression of speech" and declined to apologize for his comments.[24][29] Supporters called for an anti-boycott "buycott" in support of the company.[30] Goya used its corporate Twitter account to call attention to its pledge made at the White House event to donate cans of food for those affected by COVID-19,[31] and a Goya supporter launched a GoFundMe campaign that raised money to buy Goya products and donate them to food pantries.[31]

On December 7, 2020, Unanue stated that Ocasio-Cortez was named "employee of the month" after her boycott call led to a 1000% sales spike.[32] On January 26, 2021, Goya's board of directors voted to censure Unanue following statements disputing the 2020 United States presidential election, banning him from speaking to the media. An anonymous CNN source familiar with the board’s actions claimed that Unanue's statements "imperiled the future of the company and endangered the lives of some of the shareholders," and that the controversy following Unanue's White House appearance had not been good for the company.[33] The majority of the company's board favored removing Unanue from his position, but the family-owned business regulations did not allow for that.[34]

During CPAC 2021, Goya Foods CEO Unanue claimed the 2020 election was illegitimate, and that Donald Trump is "the real, the legitimate, and the still actual president".[35]

In April, 2023, Jura Liaukonyte, an economics professor at Cornell University said that boycott efforts of Goya foods had not only failed, but had actually led to an increase in Goya sales. Liaukonyte made the statement during an interview regarding the 2023 boycott of Bud Light beer. Boycotts are typically short lived, Liaukonyte said, and in the case of Goya had backfired, as sales had increased from first-time buyers.[36]

Cultural impact edit

Goya Foods logo and imagery has been "appropriated" by multiple contemporary fine artists who use the images in their paintings, prints and sculptures, most notably Cuban-American artist Ric Garcia,[37][38][39] sculptor Alexander Mijares,[40][41][42] painter John Kilduff,[43] and others.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Morley, Hugh R. (April 29, 2015). "Goya opens new headquarters built with help of New Jersey tax break". NorthJersey.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  2. ^ "History - Our Company". Goya Foods. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  3. ^ Gabaccia, Donna R. (2000). We Are What We Eat. Harvard University Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-674-00190-9.
  4. ^ Hirsch, Lauren (2019-05-29). "Family-run Latin food giant Goya weighs possible $3 billion sale". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  5. ^ "Advertising, Marketing, and Commercial Imagery Collections". Americanhistory.si.edu. Archived from the original on 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  6. ^ United States. National Labor Relations Board (1961). Decisions and Orders of the National Labor Relations Board. National Labor Relations Board. p. 579.
  7. ^ Carlyle, Erin. "How Goya Became One Of America's Fastest-Growing Food Companies". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  8. ^ Carolina Gonzalez (June 8, 2011). "Goya brand has been woven into the city's Latino DNA". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d e Susanne Craig, Joseph A. Unanue, Former Chief Executive of Goya Foods, Dies at 88, New York Times (June 15, 2013).
  10. ^ a b c d Miriam Jordan, A Family Fights Over the Future Of Goya Foods, Wall Street Journal (March 11, 2004).
  11. ^ a b c Joseph B. Treaster, Joseph F. Unanue, 41, Executive Vice President at Goya Foods, New York Times (December 4, 1998).
  12. ^ a b Stephen Miller, Joseph Unanue Took Hispanic Food to the Masses at Goya Foods, Wall Street Journal (June 14, 2013).
  13. ^ a b Robert Schwaneberg, NJ Senate candidate Andy Unanue fell from grace at family's company, NJ.com (March 26, 2008).
  14. ^ a b Lauren Hirsch, Family-run Latin food giant Goya weighs possible $3 billion sale, CNBC May 29, 2020).
  15. ^ Heather Haddon, Goya Foods Breaks Ground in Jersey City, Wall Street Journal (September 5, 2012).
  16. ^ Cathy Siegner, Report: Goya Foods rejects sale to retain family leadership, Food Dive (November 27, 2019).
  17. ^ Pan Demetrakakes, Report: Goya Rejects Buyout Offer, Food Processing (November 27, 2019).
  18. ^ "The Largest Private Companies". Forbes.com. 2006-11-14. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  19. ^ Lollis, Barbara De (2008-03-24). "CEO Profile: At Goya, it's all in la familia". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  20. ^ T, Terrence (2015-04-29). "A 'great Goya day' at opening of new HQ in Jersey City". nj.com. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  21. ^ "GOYA Foods donates 1 million pounds of food to those impacted by Hurricane Maria". WTNH.com. 2018-05-29. Retrieved 2020-05-25.
  22. ^ Ott, Matt (July 10, 2020). "In heated political moment, Goya latest company to get stung". Associated Press. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  23. ^ "Remarks by the First Lady at Goya Foods "MiPlato" Announcement -- Tampa, FL". White House Press Office. January 26, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  24. ^ a b Nelson, Joshua (July 10, 2020). "Goya Foods CEO won't apologize in face of boycott, backlash for pro-Trump remarks: 'Suppression of speech'". Fox News. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  25. ^ Reyes, Raul A. (July 18, 2020). "Goya boycott, say Latinos, is about Trump's 'hate,' not politics". NBC News. NBC. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  26. ^ Taylor, Derrick Bryson (July 10, 2020). "Goya Foods Boycott Takes Off After Its President Praises Trump". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  27. ^ Wise, Alana (July 9, 2020). "Calls To Boycott Goya Foods After CEO Praises President Trump". NPR. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  28. ^ Torrejon, Rodrigo (July 10, 2020). "N.J.'s Goya Foods facing boycott after CEO says U.S. is 'blessed' to have Trump". NJ.com. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  29. ^ Goldman, David (July 10, 2020). "Goya CEO tells Fox he won't apologize after his praise for Trump sparks boycott". CNN. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  30. ^ Stockman, Farah; Kelly, Kate; Medina, Jennifer (2020-07-19). "How Buying Beans Became a Political Statement". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  31. ^ a b Fordham, Evie (July 13, 2020). "Virginia man raises $77K to donate Goya products to food pantries: 'Say no to cancel culture'". Fox News. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  32. ^ Manfredi, Lucas (2020-12-07). "Goya CEO says AOC was named 'employee of the month' after her boycott call led to sales spike". FOXBusiness. Retrieved 2021-11-23.
  33. ^ Chris Isidore, Maria Santana. "Goya board silences its CEO after he tells Fox News the election was rigged". CNN. CNN Business. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  34. ^ Maria Santana and Chris Isidore (26 January 2021). "Goya board silences its CEO after he tells Fox News the election was rigged". CNN. Retrieved 2022-08-01.
  35. ^ Dale, Daniel; Subramaniam, Tara (March 1, 2021). "Goya Foods CEO falsely says election was illegitimate, Trump is 'the real, the legitimate, and the still actual president'". CNN. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  36. ^ Sullivan, Becky. "Bud Light sales dip after trans promotion, but such boycotts are often short-lived". npr. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
  37. ^ "Meet Gateway Arts District Artists Becky Borlan, Nehemiah Dixon III & Ric Garcia | East City Art". www.eastcityart.com. 7 May 2015. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  38. ^ "2020 Regional Juried Exhibition – Hill Center DC". Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  39. ^ "Goya Virgen (2015)". Artsy. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  40. ^ "Sculpture made out of Goya cans unveiled at PAMM". Channel 7 News- Miami. 2017-12-09. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  41. ^ "Local Artist Creates Sculpture Made Entirely of Cans of Frijoles". Perez Art Museum. 2017-12-12. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  42. ^ "Goya Foods se asocia con el renombrado artista Alexander Mijares para crear una "Escultura de Latas" Goya única en el Museo PAMM". EL POPULAR NEWS (in Spanish). 2017-12-17. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  43. ^ "John Kilduff Goya Paintings | Zatista". www.zatista.com. Retrieved 2020-08-17.

External links edit