Reaction to Goya Foods shows risk of political alignment, says GlobalData

Younger consumers tend to be very active on social media and this technology empowers them to express strong views on brands – such as commenting on a company’s ethics for example. In fact, 40% of consumers in the US say they are influenced by how ethical/socially responsible a product or service is, according to GlobalData, and 55% of these were millennials*. Consumers are more powerful than ever, and more socially aware. Brands cannot be complacent because the younger generations are less likely be brand-loyal and can easily turn to the array of alternatives.

We saw an example recently when Goya Foods’ CEO Robert Unanue showed support for President Trump. Mis-steps like this risk putting a barrier between the brand and consumers that do not align themselves with Trump’s political decisions.

Yamina Tsalamlal, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, says: “The overwhelmingly negative response to Goya shows how easily consumers can question a brand they perceive does not value them, as well as how much consumers care about who/what their products represent and the power of social media. Unanue has assumed that his consumers are loyal, no matter his politics, because they love the product. However, the consumer reaction online shows that if brands are not loyal to their consumers, their consumers can return the favor.

“It also can’t be ignored that Goya Foods’ consumer base is overwhelmingly Latinx, who historically have been outwardly opposed to his statements and policies. Plus, as a reaction, the Latinx community have been sharing DIY versions of Goya spices and mixes, which should be seen as a real slap in the face for Goya. With a growing web full of ‘internet celebrities’ or ‘social media influencers’ being asked to endorse products, brands do not want to lose this lucrative sales opportunity, who will be very in tune with what their viewers think.”

*GlobalData Recovery Tracker 2020, Week 3 – Based on ‘always’ and ‘often’ responses

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