A lesson in Cooperative Economics: The Honey Pot vs Racism

Whitney Alese
5 min readMar 3, 2020

In February, Target, in celebration of Black History Month, released an ad discussing The Honey Pot, a black woman–owned company.

The Target ad highlighted Beatrice Dixon, founder of The Honey Pot, a plant based feminine care line of products which launched in 2014, as an “inspirational entrepreneur and diverse business leader”. In the ad, Beatrice says, “The reason why it’s so important for Honey Pot to do well, is so the next black girl that comes up with a great idea, she could have a better opportunity. That means a lot to me.”

This ad, which should have been at best inspirational, sparked a flood of not only negative, but nasty online reviews, accusing both The Honey Pot and Target of being “racist” to white people.

Following the ad’s release, a flood or reviewers descended on the major review website, TrustPilot, so much so that they have now limited the reviews that can be left for The Honey Pot.

What was interesting is that many of these ratings left on TrustPilot made it VERY obvious that the people who were actually leaving review had never actually used the product. Remember, The Honey Pot produces feminine care products, meaning products for periods such as tampons and pads, but also wipes and washes for regular daily use.

But apparently, these reviewers thought it was shampoo: “horrible products, ruined my hair.”, “This really puts the poo in shampoo. What’s worse, it made my hair smell disgusting! I will never buy this brand again! Terrible!”, “Product left my fro smelling like pond water and rotting flesh. Don’t buy.”

But then there were reviews like this:

“I can’t support a company in good faith that is openly racist about their customers.”

“Black girls are empowered using this product… I guess whites girls aren’t. I’ll be letting Target know about this racist company.”

And reviews like this:

“Honey pot is a great product that I’ve been using for years. All the mad and bitter black women crying about lack of inclusivity are apart of the problem. This is a company that puts us, black women last since so MANY other brands and products don’t. How typical of y’all to whine and cry when…

Whitney Alese

Whitney Alese is a writer & podcaster, featured in WIRED Magazine (Sept 2020) & I-D Magazine (Dec. 2021), and NBC (Jan 2023). She is based in Philadelphia.