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Goya CEO says he named AOC employee of the month after boycott call boosted sales

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The CEO of Goya Foods has credited Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for boosting the company’s sales by joining calls for a boycott, proclaiming her an honorary ’employee of the month.’

The controversy in July came after CEO Bob Unanue praised President Donald Trump, leading to outcry from celebrities and liberal figures who demanded a boycott of the company.

Ocasio-Cortez voiced her support for a boycott by declaring she would make her own version of a popular Goya seasoning, tweeting: ‘Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling ‘how to make your own Adobo’.’

‘When she boycotted us, our sales actually increased 1,000%,’ Unanue claimed in an interview with The Michael Berry Show on Monday. ‘So we gave her an honorary, we never were able to hand it to her, but she got employee of the month for bringing attention to Goya and our adobo.’ 

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The controversy in July came after CEO Bob Unanue (left) praised President Donald Trump, leading to outcry from celebrities and liberal figures

Unanue credited Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (above) for boosting the company's sales by joining calls for a boycott

Unanue credited Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (above) for boosting the company’s sales by joining calls for a boycott

He said that the calls to boycott did not appear to dissuade existing customers, and the publicity attracted new ones. 

‘You’re not going to change a consumer because one idiot like myself says something politically or whatever,’ he said.

Goya is privately held and does not publicly disclose earnings, making Unanue’s claims impossible to verify.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez denied that she had called for a boycott of Goya, blasting Fox News for their coverage of Unanue’s remarks. 

‘No, I just googled how to make my own adobo,’ she wrote.

‘But of course Fox would rather indulge their made up fantasies than acknowledge that in the Trump admin’s catastrophic response to COVID, millions of people rushed to buy canned goods which then had to be rationed at grocery stores.’

Goya is privately held and does not publicly disclose earnings, making Unanue's claims impossible to verify. Above, Unanue is seen in July

Goya is privately held and does not publicly disclose earnings, making Unanue’s claims impossible to verify. Above, Unanue is seen in July

AOC denied that she had called for a boycott, saying she simply googled how to make adobo

AOC denied that she had called for a boycott, saying she simply googled how to make adobo

The controversy began in July, when Unanue spoke at a White House event, saying that Americans are ‘truly blessed to have a leader’ like Trump.

Unanue is of Spanish descent, and Goya claims to be largest Hispanic-owned food company in the U.S.

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The remarks drew furious backlash from some quarters. 

Chrissy Teigen, 34, told her 13.1 million Twitter followers she wouldn’t be buying the brand anymore, tweeting on July 10: ‘F*********K. A shame. Don’t care how good the beans taste though. Bye bye.’

But less than a month later, the model posted a video showing a can of Goya beans as she was cooking in the kitchen. 

Meanwhile, conservative figures spoke out to support the brand. Donald Trump Jr boasted on Instagram about his dinner cooked with Goya ingredients.

His video came as his sister Ivanka was accused of breaking White House ethics rules by tweeting her support for the company.

Donald Trump followed his daughter's lead and tweeted his support for Goya

Donald Trump followed his daughter’s lead and tweeted his support for Goya

‘If it’s Goya, it has to be good,’ she tweeted, echoing the company slogan. 

Under the rules government officials are barred from using their public office to endorse specific products or groups. The White House defended her tweet.

‘Only the media and the cancel culture movement would criticize Ivanka for showing her personal support for a company that has been unfairly mocked, boycotted and ridiculed for supporting this administration – one that has consistently fought for and delivered for the Hispanic community,’ said Carolina Hurley, White House spokesperson.

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‘Ivanka is proud of this strong, Hispanic-owned business with deep roots in the US and has every right to express her personal support.’

Her father also tweeted his support for Goya, but as president, he is exempt from many of the rules that federal workers must follow.  

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