Big candy boycott? Hershey, Jelly Belly facing backlash over meeting at Trump resort

Critics of the president with a sweet tooth are facing a moral dilemma.

Companies like Hershey, Mars and Jelly Belly have become the latest targets of the anti-Trump “Grab Your Wallet” buy-cott (a pledge to boycott brands through financial inaction) as the National Confectioners Association (NCA) hosts its annual conference at the Trump National Doral resort near Miami this week.

Now, the social media sphere is taking aim at NCA members like Hershey’s, Mars, Nestle and Jelly Belly for ongoing plans to patronize Trump properties while trying to secure a rollback of government sugar subsidies.


Two upcoming gatherings – one in September and another in 2018 – are currently scheduled for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. The location of the events may or not may be coincidental but according to the Washington Post the association is trying lobby the administration in favor of the rollback because the subsidies are driving up the cost of their product.

“We have a very narrow window of time now with the current administration and political dynamics to win this fight,” John H. Downs, Jr., the president and chief executive of the association, said in a memo to the board of trustees prior to the meeting in Florida.

That document, posted to the group’s website, said that successful efforts with the Trump administration could wind up saving the industry $280 million each year-- simply by cutting sugar sugar subsidies.


Down is also pushing to eliminate regulations on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), in addition to those related to food labeling.

But the mix of politics and sweets is leaving a sour taste in many candy lovers' mouths who taken to social media to voice their concerns over the industry's ties to Trump. Some are even considering making due without chocolate for awhile.

But rumors of a candy buycott pale in comparison to at least one candy's iconic tie to a former conservative icon. President Ronald Reagan loved his Jelly Belly beans so much (licorice was his reported favorite) that the Herman Goelitz Candy Company provided the Reagan White House with candy for all eight years of Reagan’s presidency.

Previous buycotts of brands linked to Trump, including daughter Ivanka Trump's clothing line, may have spurred an unintended effect of getting Trump supporters to buy such items in droves.

According to the Post, however, the NCA's event this week is the first known example in which an interest group with multiple scheduled events took place at Trump properties while Trump was in office.