Whether or not you want to mix politics with food, the 2016 campaign and subsequent Trump administration has mixed food with politics in a surprising number of newsworthy ways.
While most brands would probably prefer to appear ideologically neutral, some willingly stepped forward into the democratic process while others have been dragged in whether they like it or not. From the president’s diet to beefs with ice cream companies and boycotts of beer, it seems our appetites are getting political.
In response to the Trump Administration’s executive order banning travelers from seven muslim-majority countries as well refugees, Starbucks committed to hiring 10,000 refugees over the next ten years causing a boycott/boon in sales from detractors and supporters alike.
A timely Super Bowl ad for the beer company featured the immigrant story of Adolphus Busch coming from Germany to America in the 1800’s. Whether intentional or not, the commercial seemed to many to be directly addressing the Trump Administration’s anti-immigration rhetoric. Of course there was a boycott suggested, of course. Interestingly enough, last year candidate Trump took credit for Budweiser’s “America” can campaign.
Though once a big fan of the sandwich cookie, allegedly Donald Trump has given them up since Nabisco moved some production to Mexico. The boycott seems to be cookie-specific as Nabisco itself wasn’t mentioned on the campaign trail. Those wishing to follow the president’s lead have taken to buying Hydrox instead.
The president is a well-known fan of fast food, for, amongst other reasons, because he believes he knows what’s in it. Twenty-nine percent of the Trump campaign’s food expenditures were at McDonald’s, even though the president himself had difficulty naming his favorite menu item.
The Trump administration tapped CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Pudzer as secretary of labor, however he withdrew before being confirmed.
Candidate Trump caused a social media uproar when the campaign tweeted a photo of him eating Kentucky Fried Chicken with a knife and fork.
Hours after being announced as Trump’s running make, Gov. Mike Pence and his family posted a photo of themselves dining out at, of all the places in New York City, Chili’s. In what looked like an attempt to go out of its way to remain neutralChili's responded to the visit by Tweeting support for a third party, the Margarita Party.
President Trump once appeared with his ex-wife Ivana in an ad for the chain’s stuffed crust pizza. The storyboards from that spot recently went up for sale.
A boycott by Trump supporters was incited by a fake news story back in November which quoted CEO Indira Nooyi as condemning Donald Trump and anyone who voted for him. Nooyi clarified the false claims later, and even accepted a seat on the president’s business council.
The restaurant delivery service’s CEO garnered a boycott after sending an email to employees after the election stating that demeaning immigrants, minorities and people with disabilities had “no place at Grubhub” and cited Donald Trump as an example of someone who violated those values.
The breath mints started trending when it was revealed that they were a favorite of Donald Trump when wooing women as cited in his infamous Access Hollywood interview audio about grabbing women by the genitals. The company responded by denouncing the Trump’s comments and behavior.
The colorful candies were brought into the political conversation when Donald Trump, Jr. posted a graphic to his Twitter account comparing refugees to Skittles. The candy maker issued a response to the post saying, “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”
Owner Dick Yuengling, Jr. was a vocal Trump supporter and even hosted Eric Trump for a tour of the brewery, telling him “our guys are behind your father. We need him in there.” The comments and endorsement caused many bars and drinkers to stop buying from the brewery.
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The cereal company announced in November of 2016 that it would pull advertising from ultra-conservative website Breitbart.com, which Trump Administration advisor Steve Bannon was previously an executive.
Twitter detectives scoured hundreds of Trump administration press secretary Sean Spicer’s tweets and found an interesting pattern: the guy really hates Dippin’ Dots, once dubbed the “ice cream of the future.”
As President Trump settled into the White House, reports came out that the kitchen had been fully stocked with his favorite snack food, Lays potato chips. It’s a far cry from the healthy menu the previous administration favored.
Updated Feb. 15 to reflect Andrew Puzder's withdrawl from the nomination.