Rappers Snoop Dogg and Master P have filed a lawsuit against Walmart and food manufacturer Post Consumer Brands, alleging a conspiracy to impede the success of their cereal venture, Snoop Cereal.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, accuses both companies of engaging in "diabolical" and "underhanded" tactics by deliberately concealing Snoop Cereal from consumers to stifle its sales and hinder the duo's profits.
According to the complaint, Walmart and Post collaborated to keep Snoop Cereal off store shelves, with boxes coded to prevent them from being displayed. Attorney Ben Crump, representing Snoop Dogg and Master P, highlighted the broader implications.
“This case shines a light on the steep challenges faced by minority-owned businesses in securing fair opportunities in the marketplace," he said.
Snoop Dogg, also known as Calvin Broadus, and Master P, born Percy Miller, established Broadus Foods in 2022 to venture into the food industry. Their initial approach to Post aimed at securing support for Snoop Cereal, but Post's offer to buy the product outright was declined as the duo sought to maintain ownership of Broadus Foods as a family legacy.
Subsequently, Post entered into a partnership promotion agreement with Broadus Foods for the production, marketing, and distribution of Snoop Cereal. However, the lawsuit alleges that Post failed to uphold its end of the agreement, working with Walmart to ensure the product remained hidden from consumers. Both companies have yet to respond directly to the allegations.
The lawsuit contends that the intentional suppression of Snoop Cereal led to financial losses and reputational damage for Broadus Foods. It further alleges that Walmart inflated the price of the cereal online, contradicting the duo's aim to provide an affordable product.
Snoop Dogg and Master P envisioned Snoop Cereal as an affordable and diverse addition to the food industry, aiming to inspire other minority-owned brands. The lawsuit warns of the broader implications, suggesting that if such tactics are successful against well-known entrepreneurs, smaller businesses may be even more vulnerable.
This legal action isn't the first time products associated with Snoop Dogg have courted controversy. In 2020, his collaboration with 19 Crimes wine sparked debate over the choice to partner with a brand associated with a history of "criminal activity." Snoop Dogg defended the collaboration, emphasizing the theme of second chances and personal growth.
The legal battle over Snoop Cereal underscores broader issues of representation and fairness in the business world, as minority-owned ventures strive for equitable opportunities in the marketplace.