The “Y’all Means All” shopping bag at the supermarket divides the Internet


A reusable shopping bag sold by Texan supermarket chain HEB has sparked divergent views on LGBTQ+ Pride.

In recent months, the number of major US brands targeted with boycott calls has grown dramatically, as a myriad of different companies unveil products in support of Pride Month, which takes place every June. Even companies that support LGBTQ+ outside of Pride Month have faced backlash from conservatives.

Bud Light was initially targeted in April for a small brand partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Retailer Target has also come under boycott calls and said it received bomb threats after it introduced its Pride 2023 Product of the Month line.

While such inclusive marketing and branding initiatives have been commonplace among companies for years, many have been engulfed in controversy in recent months. Some pundits have blamed a small number of influential far-right figures who orchestrated a plan to make support for LGBTQ+ communities toxic to big business.

Drag queen Raenn James, who performs under the name ‘Her Majesty’, their partner Dani Knighten and their baby boy Marlowe are pictured as they exit a HEB store on April 19, 2023 in Austin, Texas. HEB’s new LGBTQ+ Pride themed bags have caused a stir on social media.Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Texas retailer HEB has now shown its support for LGBTQ+ people with the unveiling of a range of Pride-themed products, as well as a reusable shopping bag emblazoned with the inclusive slogan ‘Y’all Means All’.

The bag, which can also be purchased online for $2.08, features the outline of the state of Texas filled with the rainbow of colors commonly associated with LGBTQ+ Pride.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, complaints and boycott calls were soon pouring into the San Antonio-based company’s LGBTQ+-themed merchandise.

By tagging the retailer, a Twitter user he wrote: “Hey @HEB… i have nothing against gays but when will i get my straight pride bag???”

“There isn’t an unwoke grocery store in my city. Not one,” tweeted another detractor. “I’ve known @HEB for a while now. I called their corporate office about Gay Pride Mickey Mouse shopping bags.”

“HEB has woken up. Texans it’s time to ban HEB,” another Twitter user declared.

“Almost every city in Texas has a HEB and they’re selling in Austin,” another tweeted. “Damn shame.”

However, fans of HEB, which has more than 430 stores in Texas and northeastern Mexico, have spoken out in the retailer’s defense. HEB recently dominated a list of the most trusted grocery retailers in America across several categories.

“For the uninitiated, HEB is an iconic grocery chain, closely associated with Texas Pride,” tweeted one. “Kudos to them for taking a stand against hate.”

“Good for HEB,” She said another Twitter user. “Good luck boycotting them if you’re in Texas. Enjoy shopping at Dollar General.”

“OMG Texas friends! Please get me one of these cute reusable shopping bags before bigots try to force HEB out of stores!” he wrote another.

“All you right-wingers in Texas are about to have a mental breakdown now that they have to boycott HEB,” another commented.

Newsweek reached out to HEB representatives via email for comment.

In recent months, a number of companies have faced calls for boycotts, including Target, which has come under fire for its LGBTQ+ Pride month clothing and accessories. Critics have called for the retailer to get “the Bud Light treatment.”

Beer brand Bud Light has been embroiled in controversy since early April after it sent a commemorative can to Mulvaney. The move prompted calls for a boycott, and industry data shows that Bud Light sales fell more than 17% during the month.

They’re not the only brands to recently face boycott calls for pro-LGBTQ+ marketing. In April, whiskey maker Jack Daniel’s caused outrage after teaming up with three drag queens for a Pride Month promotion, despite the campaign being nearly two years old.

Several detractors have also vowed to ditch a number of brands including Starbucks, Nike and Adidas for campaigns and collaborations with LGBTQ+ people.

Previously, chocolate makers Hershey’s faced a similar response to an ad campaign in February after it included the face of a transgender rights activist on special candy bar wrappers in Canada for International Women’s Day.

Meanwhile, Miller Lite recently faced calls from conservatives to boycott the brand over its two-month-old commercial, which highlights the historic role women have played in brewing.

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