“This case shines a light on the steep challenges faced by minority-owned businesses in securing fair opportunities in the marketplace,” the duo’s attorney, Ben Crump, said. “The actions by Post Foods and Walmart demonstrate cynical disregard and exploitation of minority entrepreneurs in the business world.”
Crump, the go-to attorney for racial justice, said in a tweet Wednesday that he was “proud” to be working with the stars “to make sure Walmart and Post Foods are held accountable for ignoring Black businesses!”
Snoop Dogg, real name Calvin Broadus, and Master P, real name Percy Miller, created their food label, Broadus Foods, in 2022. The duo initially approached Post to gain support for Snoop Cereal, hoping the breakfast juggernaut could help promote their product, the lawsuit said.
Post responded by offering to buy Snoop Cereal, the lawsuit said, noting that the move could have cut the rappers’ business out of the market. Snoop Dogg and Master P turned down the offer as they “hoped to preserve Broadus Foods as a legacy to their families,” the lawsuit said.
Post then proposed and entered into a partnership promotion agreement with Broadus Foods for the manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of Snoop Cereal in December 2022, the lawsuit said.
But the lawsuit said Post did not honor the arrangement, accusing it of “pretending to be on board” with the duo’s goals by agreeing — but failing — to treat the cereal like “one of its own brands.” The lawsuit alleged that Post “worked with Walmart to ensure that none of the boxes of Snoop Cereal would ever appear on the store shelves,” and claimed that the rappers’ decision not to sell to Post was the catalyst for “bad faith dealings.”
Kelly Hellbusch, a spokesperson for Walmart, said in a statement that the company had a “strong history of supporting entrepreneurs” and that “many factors affect the sales of any given product, including consumer demand, seasonality, and price to name a few.” The supermarket said it would “respond as appropriate with the Court once we are served with the complaint.”
In an emailed statement Thursday, Post Consumer brands said that it “was excited to partner with Broadus Foods” and that it “made substantial investments in the business.” The manufacturer said it was “equally disappointed that consumer demand did not meet expectations.”
The lawsuit said that months after Snoop Cereal’s release, customers could not locate the product in “many” Walmart stores — unlike other Post-branded cereals. The complaint noted that while the product was listed as “sold out” or “out of stock,” upon further investigation, “several” boxes of the cereal were located in stockrooms.
The lawsuit claimed that Broadus Foods incurred financial losses and reputational damage due to Walmart and Post’s failure to make the product available to customers, adding that “the only reason Snoop Cereal would not sell was because Post and Walmart intentionally kept it from reaching the market.”
The lawsuit also alleged that online, Walmart “hiked the price” of the cereal to more than $10 a box, going against the duo’s ambition to provide an affordable product to customers.
Snoop Cereal was originally named “Snoop Loopz,” though the duo eventually changed the name, with Snoop Dogg saying in a December 2022 Instagram post: “They don’t want us to use Snoop Loopz on our cereal box even though that’s my name,” without giving further details.
In launching their cereal enterprise, the rappers said their vision was to create an “affordable” product that would add diversity to the food industry and inspire minority-owned food brands, the lawsuit said.
“If Post and Walmart are able to do this to popular businessmen such as Snoop Dogg and Master P, then they will definitely do it to the mon-and-pop and minority owned companies who do not have the ability to defend themselves,” the lawsuit said.
Snoop Cereal is not Snoop Dogg’s only venture into the world of food and drink — and this is not the first time products associated with the star have sparked controversy.
In 2020, he courted criticism with his 19 Crimes Snoop Cali Red wine, with some arguing that the rapper should not have partnered with a wine brand associated with “criminal activity.”
Snoop Dogg defended the move, telling CNN that “19 Crimes represents and celebrates second chances” and that “we all have a past which is part of the journey and builds character.”