Snoop Dogg and Master P have filed a lawsuit against Walmart and Post Consumer Brands over claims the companies sabotaged their cereal brand, Snoop Cereal.
In the lawsuit filed Tuesday 6 February, the rappers’ parent company Broadus Foods alleged that the American retail giant and the food manufacturer engaged in “diabolical actions” and “underhanded dealing” to hide Snoop Cereal from consumers, according to Billboard.
Snoop Dogg, real name Calvin Broadus, and Master P, real name Percy Miller, founded Broadus Food in 2022 to add “diversity into the grocery stores industry” and create “opportunities for minority-owned food products and brands”.
The company launched alongside its two brands, Snoop Cereal and Momma Snoop, which includes oatmeal and maple syrup products. Snoop Cereal was initially branded “Snoop Loopz” but was discontinued due to a trademark infringement pursued by Kellogg’s, the owner of Froot Loops.
The lawsuit alleges that Post secretly “ensured that Snoop Cereal would not be available to consumers” or would “incur exorbitant costs that would eliminate any profit” after the rappers refused to sell their company to Post. As a result, Broadus Foods attorney Benjamin Crump claimed the manufacturer “entered a false arrangement where they could choke Broadus Foods out of the market” and prevent Snoop Cereal from being sold or produced by competitors.
Walmart was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit over claims that the retailer worked with Post to “ensure that none of the boxes of Snoop Cereal would ever appear on the store shelves”.
The lawsuit describes one incident in which the cereal was allegedly shown as being falsely out of stock at Walmart stores, with boxes kept hidden in stockrooms. “Upon further investigation by store employees, each of these stores had several boxes of Snoop Cereal in their stockrooms that were coded to not be put out on the store shelves,” Broadus Foods’ lawyers stated, according to Billboard. “Unlike the other Post-branded boxes of cereal around them, these Snoop Cereal boxes had been in the stockrooms for months without ever being made available to customers.”
Broadus Foods is seeking damages over the alleged “deceptive trade practices”.
“This case shines a light on the steep challenges faced by minority-owned businesses in securing fair opportunities in the marketplace,” said attorney Ben Crump in a press release. “The actions by Post Foods and Walmart demonstrate cynical disregard and exploitation of minority entrepreneurs in the business world. If this is how celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Master P are treated by corporate America, just imagine how lesser known Black entrepreneurs and small business owners are treated by powerful corporations.”
In a statement to The Independent, a Walmart spokesperson said the company “values our relationships with our suppliers” and has a “strong history of supporting entrepreneurs”.
“Many factors affect the sales of any given product, including consumer demand, seasonality, and price to name a few. We will respond as appropriate with the Court once we are served with the complaint,” they added.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Post Consumer Brands said they were “excited to partner with Broadus Foods” and “made substantial investments in the business” in a statement to The Independent. “We were equally disappointed that consumer demand did not meet expectations,” they added.