Snoop Dogg and Master P sue Walmart and Post for trying to sabotage their cereal
Rappers Snoop Dogg and Master P are suing Walmart and food manufacturer Post Consumer Brands, arguing that both companies intentionally left their cereal product off shelves and hid it in stockrooms in an attempt to sabotage their brand.
In a 34-page lawsuit filed Tuesday, attorneys representing the rappers outline that Snoop Dogg (born Calvin Broadus) and Master P (born Percy Miller) created Broadus Foods in 2022 with the goal of adding diversity to the food industry while "inspiring and creating opportunities" for minority-owned products and brands.
The suit argues that when the two rappers approached Post Consumer Brands to get support for one of the cereals, Snoop Cereal, the food manufacturer attempted to outright buy the brand.
The rappers declined the offer, saying they believed it would "destroy the whole purpose of leaving the company to their families."
Post then suggested and entered a partnership promotion agreement with Broadus Foods to manufacture, market, distribute and sell Snoop Cereal in December 2022 — in which they would split the profits with Broadus Foods, the lawsuit says.
However, the rappers argue that Post did not honor their original agreement, citing the manufacturer "pretended to be on board" with the duo's goals and did not treat the cereal like "one of its own brands."
"...Post entered a false arrangement where they could choke Broadus Foods out of the market, thereby preventing Snoop Cereal from being sold or produced by any competitor," the lawsuit says.
Months after Snoop Cereal's launch last July, the lawsuit argues that customers were no longer able to find the cereal in "many" Walmart stores across the U.S. — unlike other cereals under the Post brand.
The lawsuit added that while the product was listed as "sold out" or "out of stock," store employees found several boxes of the cereal in stockrooms — and that they had been "coded to not be put out on the store shelves."
The rappers say Broadus Foods suffered financial losses along and a damaged reputation because Walmart and Post decided to not make the product widely available to customers.
"The only reason Snoop Cereal would not sell was because Post and Walmart intentionally kept it from reaching the market," the lawsuit says.
In a statement to NPR, Walmart says it values its relationships with its suppliers and has a "strong history of supporting entrepreneurs," adding that "many factors" affect the sales of any given product, citing consumer demand, seasonality, and price.
The retailer said it would "respond as appropriate with the Court once we are served with the complaint."
Post Consumer Brands pointed to a lack of interest from consumers in the cereal in a statement to NPR.
"Post Consumer Brands was excited to partner with Broadus Foods and we made substantial investments in the business," the company said. "We were equally disappointed that consumer demand did not meet expectations."
The rappers are seeking a jury trial, damages exceeding $50,000 and "further relief determined by the Court," according to the lawsuit. Both rappers are being represented by civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
"This case shines a light on the steep challenges faced by minority-owned businesses in securing fair opportunities in the marketplace," Crump said in a statement.
In a news conference announcing the lawsuit on Wednesday, Master P told reporters that the lawsuit is about minority-owned companies "getting a fair share."
"Change is coming ... and it's going to start with [me and Snoop]," he added.
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